The Volkswagen Group is looking to claim its position in the future of automobiles as the industry transitions to a zero-emission electric future. To keep up with the competition, VW is hiring a chief designer after his success at Audi and Bentley.
VW hires a new chief designer to lead EV efforts
Andreas Mindt is set to take over the reins as the Volkswagen brand’s chief designer, replacing Jozef Kaban.
Mindt is expected to officially take over on February 1, according to a report from Germany’s Automobilwoche. The move comes after Kaban failed to meet the board’s expectations.
For example, Kaban was behind the initial VW ID.2 design, which was sent back for revisions by CEO Thomas Shafer. He was also sent a draft back of the company’s Project Trinity, the VW EV sedan that’s supposed to set new standards in range, charging speed, and digitalization.
Kaban worked for various VW brands from 2003 to 2017 before taking a hiatus to work for BMW, returning as VW’s chief designer in July 2020.
VW’s new chief designer, Mindt, was tasked with leading the design language for Bentley’s electric future in March 2021. Before that, Mindt spent 25 years with the VW group in various roles, including head of Exterior Design for Audi, where he oversaw the launch of its first electric vehicle, the Audi e-tron.
Mindt will now play a critical role in defining Volkswagen’s electric future. VW delivered around 330,000 units (+23.5% YOY) of its high-flying ID.4 in 2022 and over 580,000 ID models since launching the first ID.3 in 2020.
The automaker has recently teased an upgraded ID.3 expected to launch this year and released a prototype of its new EV sedan, the ID.7. The new EV sedan is part of VW’s plans to offer a complete electric lineup with ten models expected to launch by 2026.
The electric era is becoming increasingly competitive, with startups and legacy automakers fighting for their share of the market.
To remain competitive, the design will play a critical role. Tesla continues seeing “unprecedented demand” as it continues breaking sales records. Hyundai and Kia are attracting new buyers with bold, sporty-looking models like the IONIQ 5 and EV6. Polestar is another brand with attractive designs, like the Polestar 3, that continues to defy expectations.
Where will VW fit in with all these up-and-coming brands? The company hopes its new chief designer will help lead VW into the new EV era.
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