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Heinz Heinrich Nordhoff

engineer , managing director of volkswagen

A German engineer famous for his leadership of the Volkswagen company as it was rebuilt after World War II. Nordhoff became legendary from turning the Volkswagen Beetle into a worldwide automotive phenomenon. He pioneered the idea of constant improvement - improving the car's underpinnings while keeping the styling the same. Within six years after taking over Volkswagen, he reduced the number of man-hours to produce a single car from 400 to 100.

Background

Nordhoff, Heinrich was born on January 6, 1899 in Hildesheim, Germany. Son of Johannes and Ottlie (Lauenstein) Nordhoff.

Education

Diplom-Ingenieur, Technische Hochschule, Berlin-Charlottenburg, 1927. Eng.D. (honorary), Technische Hochschule, Braunschweig, 1950. Doctor rer. policy honorary, Gottingen U., 1964.

Honorary doctorate natural science Hamburg U., 1964. Honorary doctorate commercial science Boston (Massachusetts) University, 1964.

Career

Bayerische Motoren-Werke A.G. (Bayerische Motoren Werke), Munich. Member management A. Opel AG., automobile factory, Ruesselsheim 1936-1946. Construction engineering, Hamburg, 1946-1948.

Chairman of the Board management Volkswagenwerk AG, Wolfsburg. Professor Technische Hochschule, Braunschweig, 1955. Vice president Verband der Automobil industrie, Frankfurt.

Member executive committee Prasidium des BDI, Dusseldorf. Member of advisory board Allianz-Versicherungs-AG, Munich, Braunschweigische Staatsbank, Braunschweig. Member board August Thyssen-Hutte AG, Duisburg Erste Allgemeine Unfall-und Schadens-Versicherungs-Gesellschaft, Vienna, Berlinsche Feuer-Versicherungs-Anstalt, Munich, Frankfurter Versicherungs-AG, Frankfurt, Dresdner Bank AG, Hamburg, Salzgitter AG., Salzgitter-Drutte, Deutsche Continental Gas-Gesellschaft, Dusseldorf, Frederich Krupp Gmblt, Essen.

Achievements

  • Within six years after taking over Volkswagen, Nordhoff reduced the number of man-hours to produce a single car from 400 to 100, a 75 percent reduction. His commitment to improving the workmanship at Volkswagen made the Beetle famous for its bulletproof reliability.

Membership

Member management A. Opel AG., automobile factory, Ruesselsheim 1936-1946. Member executive committee Prasidium des BDI, Dusseldorf. Member of advisory board Allianz-Versicherungs-AG, Munich, Braunschweigische Staatsbank, Braunschweig.

Member board August Thyssen-Hutte AG, Duisburg Erste Allgemeine Unfall-und Schadens-Versicherungs-Gesellschaft, Vienna, Berlinsche Feuer-Versicherungs-Anstalt, Munich, Frankfurter Versicherungs-AG, Frankfurt, Dresdner Bank AG, Hamburg, Salzgitter AG., Salzgitter-Drutte, Deutsche Continental Gas-Gesellschaft, Dusseldorf, Frederich Krupp Gmblt, Essen. Member governing body German Society for Industrial Management Honorary freeman Town of Wolfsburg, 1955, Sao Bernardo do Campo, 1960. Member World Brotherhood New York.

Club: Rotary (Braunschweig).

Connections

Married Charlotte Fassunge, August 12, 1930. Children: Barbara, Elisabeth.

father:
Johannes Nordhoff

mother:
Ottlie (Lauenstein) Nordhoff

spouse:
Charlotte Fassunge

child:
Barbara Nordhoff

child:
Elisabeth Nordhoff