From kids to cars

Stephan Piëch's father Hans-Michel, right, poses as a child with the family car. Literally. Source: Porsche

A children’s television channel is not where you’d expect to find a scion of the family that put German cars on the map. But Stephan Piëch, a descendant of VW Beetle designer and all-round auto legend Ferdinand Porsche, has so far spurned the executive suites of Germany’s car industry in favor of Your Family Entertainment. It’s a neat little company, broadcasting cartoons, adventure films, fairy tales and radio plays.

Mr. Piëch founded the company, and has a 69 percent stake. He says the firm was ultimately driven by a wish to do something positive for children. The channel is like a “well-manufactured wooden toy,” he says. Advertising is carefully selected. “We don’t want products that make kids fat or stupid,” says the founder. YFE, which is listed and has a value of €18 million ($21.5 million), has no problem filling its slots: It makes a tidy profit for shareholders.

But profits aside, what is the most prominent of the fourth generation of the founding families of Porsche and Volkswagen doing in kids’ TV?

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