There will be a new head of Volkswagen Group Design for 2016 after the company announced that Michael Mauer will be in charge starting in the first quarter of next year. Mauer will succeed longtime Group Designer Walter de Silva who recently retired last November.

Aside from his new post in Volkswagen, the 53-year old designer will still continue his work with Porsche as Head of the Design Department, a position he has held since 2004. The 2007 Cayenne, Panamera and 918 Spyder are among Mauer's personal work.

Before joining Porsche however, his career in the automotive industry began back in 1986 with Mercedes-Benz. He held several positions up until 2000. He was responsible for the design of the A-Class, SLK, SL and the Smart car. He then moved to Saab where he became Executive Director for Design in the same year. For 2003, he was assigned to Advanced Design at General Motors Europe.

The Porsche 918 Spyder

Beyond appointing a new head of Group Design, company CEO Matthias Mueller also announced that the company is continuing its restructuring. They are also working on speeding up their internal decision making. As of late, the number of top managers reporting to the CEO have been halved.

“These structural changes speed up the decision-making process, reduce complexity and increase efficiency. The Group Board of Management can focus more closely than previously on overarching issues of the future, safeguard cross-brand synergies and further develop overall strategy,” said Mueller.