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Volkswagen Is Reportedly Removing Its Design Chief

murat axel, gunnar kilian, ralf brandstätter, klaus zellmer, jozef kaban, thomas ulbrich standing, fltr

Volkswagen Is Reportedly Removing Its Design ChiefULI_SONNTAG/VW

Volkswagen will replace its current design chief Jozef Kaban, Automotive News Europe’s affiliate Automobilwoche reports. The designer’s work reportedly hasn’t impressed new VW CEO Thomas Schaefer, and as a result, he’ll reportedly be replaced by Bentley design boss Andreas Mindt.

Kaban has been the head of Volkswagen design since 2020. He came to the company from Rolls-Royce, where he led the design team for six months. Automobilwoche
reports that Kaban’s retro ID. Life concept—which was supposed to preview a 2025 mainstream EV from VW—didn’t impress the new CEO, who wanted a more modern look. The CEO also reportedly directed Kaban’s design team to scrap an upcoming flagship design, telling them to ditch the sedan styling and make it look like a crossover.

Reached via e-mail by Roads & Tracksa spokesman for Volkswagen declined to comment on this report.

Andreas Mindt, who will reportedly take on Kaban’s role, has bounced around the VW group. He’s best known for designing the Audi Q8 and the original Audi e-tron, but his most recent role was running design for Bentley. He’s only held that post since November 2021, so swapping him into Kaban’s role is a sign that the namesake brand of the VW group really needs a new design lead. The company has had a lot of executive turnover since its 2015 Dieselgate scandal, as it tries to pivot and transition to EVs.

Mindt will be replaced by Tobias Suehlmann, a VW group ultra luxury exterior design lead, according to the report from Automobilwoche. The outlet reports VW is likely to announce the changes in the coming days.

Via Automotive News Europe.

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