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Aston Martin Steals Bugatti's Head Exterior Designer

Jumping ship from one great brand to another.

It’s not unusual to see automakers lure over executives from competitors. Typically that’s not news. But one of the most recent cases definitely caught our attention. Automotive News reports that Aston Martin has recruited Bugatti’s now former exterior design boss, Tobias Suehlmann, to be its new design director. He will report directly to Aston Martin Chief Creative Officer Marek Reichman. Interestingly, Suehlmann was only at his Bugatti post for nine months, hired to replace Sasha Selipanov, who penned the Chiron.

Selipanov jumped ship for Genesis, now working in its advanced design studio in Frankfurt, Germany. Up until now, Suehlmann had spent his entire career at VW Group, of which Bugatti is a part of. Past examples of his work include the 2015 Volkswagen Sport Coupe GTE and 2016 T-Prime GTE concepts. Production examples include the all-new Arteon and Touareg. Although Aston Martin recently launched two all-new models, the DB11 and Vantage, and a new Vanquish is coming very soon, there’s clearly more work to be done. Right off the top of our heads, we predict Suehlmann will immediately be tasked with designing the UK carmaker’s upcoming mid-engine supercars.

No word yet on whether he’ll also be involved in the new Lagonda brand, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see at least some of his talented skills put to work there. For its part, Bugatti has yet to announce who’ll replace Suehlmann. We can also clearly see why Suehlmann, who’s only 39, decided to make the change. Aston Martin is a rapidly growing and exclusive brand, selling over 5,000 vehicles last year, a 58 percent increase from the year prior. This was mainly a result of high DB11 demand, and considering the Vantage will go on sale soon, the sales figures will definitely increase. Meanwhile, Bugatti is still limited to one model, though it’s rumored more are on the way.

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