Michael Mauer takes over from Klaus Zycoria, who was in charge of the new era of ID. electric vehicles.
The Volkswagen Group has announced that its Head of Group Design, Klaus Zyciora, will move on from the company, with Porsche's Head of Design, Michael Mauer, to take his place.
Zyciora was responsible for designing numerous VW passenger cars, including the Volkswagen Golf, which he oversaw from its sixth generation through to its current eighth-gen iteration. He also led the new design era at Volkswagen as it introduced electric vehicles under the ID. banner, a sub-brand with its own design identity yet one that remains clearly part of the VW family.
"Klaus demonstrated his abilities as an excellent designer, strong team leader, and creative forward thinker for more than 30 years," said CEO Oliver Blume. "Working with the team, he defined design at Volkswagen and strengthened our brands for the future."
Zyciora began his Volkswagen career in 1989 when he joined as an interior designer. He went on to lead the interior design department in 2000 and took on the role of heading up the exterior design team in 2002.
In 2007, he became the Executive Director of Volkswagen Design, managing more than 600 designers. Finally, in 2020, he became Head of Group Design, which oversees other brands like Skoda and Seat, as well as the VWs we're all familiar with.
His replacement will have big shoes to fill. Still, he is no stranger to corporate governance pressures in the automotive space, having begun his career in 1986 with Mercedes-Benz before moving on to other challenges at Saab and later General Motors Europe. Michael Mauer is currently Head of Design at Porsche, a role he will continue to fill as he takes on the same title at the Volkswagen Group.
Mauer was responsible for the designs of various Porsche icons, including the spectacular 918 Spyder hypercar, the current 911, the Macan crossover, and the fantastic Taycan EV. He also helped refine the design of the Cayenne, which certainly started life as an ugly duckling.
Other changes at the VW Group include the departure of Frank Welsch, who is retiring. Welsch also had a lot of responsibility, taking control of Group Quality Management and Strategy in February 2021, before which he was the Member of the Brand Board of Management in charge of technical development at Volkswagen Passenger Cars, SAIC Volkswagen in China, and Skoda in the Czech Republic.
His replacement is Michael Neumayer, who has worked for the VW Group since 1986 in various management roles, including quality and 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," said Blume. "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."
With another Porsche executive joining Volkswagen in a senior role following the arrival of Blume as CEO, we have every faith that the Group can catch up with its rivals.