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Volkswagen Names New Head of Design


Michael Mauer, VW’s new Head of Group Design

Michael Mauer will take Klaus Zyciora’s place as Head of Group Design, the Volkswagen Group announced Wednesday, and continue as Head of Design at Porsche.

The move is meant to foster a closer relationship among Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche brands. The change comes after the Group Board of Management was reorganized in September. 

As a result, all crucial roles have now been assigned to the Group’s top brands: production and procurement have been given to Volkswagen Passenger Cars, sales and quality have been assigned to Audi, and design and development are the province of Porsche. Given the changes demanded by the auto industry’s rapid electrification, company executives believe the new structure will enable clearer prioritizing and quicker implementation.

“Managing these key functions via the brands will allow us to intensify our customer focus,” said Volkswagen Group CEO Oliver Blume.

 Zyciora’s career at Volkswagen

Klaus Zyciora, VW’s former Head of Group Design, is leaving the company.

But the changes will see a change in design management, as Zyciora leaves the company after a decades-long career at the company. 

In 1989, Zyciora started working at Volkswagen as an interior designer. In 2000, he was named Head of Interior Design, and in 2002, was appointed Head of Exterior Design. In 2007, he was designated the Executive Director of Volkswagen Design, where he oversaw a group of more than 600 designers.

He became Head of Group Design in 2020. Among the vehicles developed under Zyciora were VW Golf generations VI through VIII, and VW’s ID electric vehicles, including the ID. Buzz and ID. Aero.

“Klaus demonstrated his abilities as an excellent designer, strong team leader and creative forward thinker for more than 30 years,” CEO Oliver Blume said. “Working with his team, he defined design at Volkswagen and strengthened our brands for the future. “We would like to thank Klaus Zyciora for everything he has done and wish him all the best in the future.”

A new head of design

Michael Neumayer, like Mauer, will get added repsonsibilities come Jan. 1.

Michael Mauer will replace Zyciora as the Head of Group Design. Mauer will continue to guide Porsche design while taking on the responsibilities at VW. But the position is nothing new; Mauer held it from 2015 through 2020. Mauer has guided design at Porsche AG since 2004, and was responsible for the 911, 918 Spyder, Macan and Taycan.

Michael Mauer started designing for Mercedes-Benz in 1986, working on the A-Class, SLK, and SL as well as the Smart design studio. He joined Saab in 2000 as Executive Design Director before moving to General Motors Europe in 2003 as Head of Advanced Design. He jumped ship to Porsche a year later.

Volkswagen also announced that In Audi’s director of quality, Michael Neumayer, will now also be in charge of the quality management division of the VW Group. As director of quality for the VW Group, he succeeds Frank Welsch, who is retiring after working with VW for nearly 30 years.

“Michael Mauer and Michael Neumayer have produced a strong track record in their respective areas, both on the brand level as well as in Michael Mauer’s case on the Group level,” Blume said. “I am really happy that they are assuming these two key positions in the Group. Working together, we will further strengthen the areas of quality and design and position them to meet future needs.”


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