Volkswagen names new heads of the Group’s key quality and design divisions
- Effective January 1, 2023, Michael Neumayer will replace Frank Welsch as Head of Group Quality Management – while retaining his position as Head of Quality at Audi
- Also effective January 1, 2023, Michael Mauer will replace Klaus Zyciora as Head of Group Design – while remaining Head of Design at Porsche
- The close connection to the Audi and Porsche brands will ensure consistent orientation towards customer needs – Group functions will concentrate on coordination and synergies between the brands
- Repositioning is based on a uniform approach for key functions – Volkswagen: production and procurement; Audi: sales and quality; and Porsche: development and design
- „Excellent quality and iconic design have always been USPs of the Volkswagen Group and its brands,” CEO Oliver Blume said. “Managing these key functions via the brands will allow us to intensify our customer focus.”
The Volkswagen Group is restructuring the two cross-brand functions of quality and design. The aim is a closer connection to the Volkswagen Passenger Cars, Audi and Porsche main brands, in order to ensure consistent focus on customer needs. The Group Board of Management also expects the new structure to facilitate clearer priority setting and faster implementation amid the sweeping change being experienced by the industry and the demands associated with this change. Effective January 1, 2023, Michael Neumayer will assume leadership of the Quality Management division while retaining his position as Head of Quality at Audi. He will replace Frank Welsch, who is retiring after nearly 30 years of service in the Group. Also effective January 1, 2023, Michael Mauer will become Head of Group Design while also retaining his position at Porsche. He will replace Klaus Zyciora who is leaving the company to pursue tasks outside the Group. Following the restructuring of the Group Board of Management that was completed in September, all key functions have now been assigned to the Group’s leading brands: production and procurement to the Volkswagen Passenger Cars, sales and quality to Audi and design and development to Porsche. The primary jobs of the Group function will be to coordinate activities and tap synergies.
„Excellent quality and iconic design have always been USPs of the Volkswagen Group and its brands,” CEO Oliver Blume said. “Managing these key functions via the brands will allow us to intensify our customer focus.”
Faced with whirlwind changes in an automotive business that is being increasingly shaped by electromobility and digitalization, Volkswagen announced in September a 10-point plan that is designed to strengthen the company’s brands and products over the long term. Under this plan, distinct improvements particularly in product substance, quality and design are to be achieved in future years. With an action plan focused on quick implementation, the Group intends to create long-term value for its customers as well as for its workforce, investors and stakeholders.
On behalf of the entire Board of Management, CEO Oliver Blume thanked Frank Welsch and Klaus Zyciora. In particular, Klaus Zyciora can look back on a wide-ranging design portfolio at the Volkswagen core brand. He oversaw the Golf generations VI to VIII, amongst others, and the new design era with the ID. family. Klaus Zyciora began his career at Volkswagen as interior designer in 1989. He became Head of Interior Design in 2000 and the head of Exterior Design in 2002. He assumed the position of Executive Director of Volkswagen Design in 2007 and led a team of more than 600 designers. He became Head of Group Design in 2020.
“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.”
The Board of Management also thanked Frank Welsch, who assumed leadership of Group Quality Management and Strategy in February 2021. Previously, Frank Welsch was the Member of the Brand Board of Management with responsibility for technical development at Volkswagen Passenger Cars, SAIC VOLKSWAGEN in China and Skoda in the Czech Republic.
“As a developer, Frank Welsch played a major role in the success of our Group brands,” Oliver Blume said. “The modular Group platforms bear his signature, just like so many Skoda and VW vehicles around the world. “Drawing on his vast technical knowledge, he focused cross-brand quality management and based it on customer satisfaction. Frank Welsch actively fueled the processes of software quality and initiated the digitalization of core processes. On behalf of the entire Board of Management, I would like to express my sincere thanks to Frank Welsch for his contributions and wish him all the best in the future.”
Michael Mauer is currently Head of Design at the Porsche brand and will add the coordinating Group function to the responsibilities that he assumes in his present position. He previously held this position between 2015 and 2020. Mauer has been Head of Design at Porsche AG since 2004 and was responsible for such icons as the 911, 918 Spyder, Macan and Taycan.
Michael Neumayer will assume the Group position from Frank Welsch, who is retiring. He has worked for the Volkswagen Group since 1986 and has comprehensive management experience from responsible positions in the quality divisions at Audi and Porsche, as well as Technical Development at Audi.
“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,” Oliver 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.”