Picture: REUTERS/ CARL RECINE
Picture: REUTERS/ CARL RECINE

Frankfurt — Volkswagen (VW) said on Friday that former BMW executive Markus Duesmann, an expert in procurement and engine development, will take over as VW Group’s board member responsible for research and development and as head of Audi.

Duesmann, who will take up the position on April 1 2020, replaces Audi CEO Bram Schot, who will leave at the end of March 2020.

Duesmann will be tasked with reinvigorating the company’s advertising slogan “Vorsprung Durch Technik”, or “advancement through technology”, with new meaning.

“Markus Duesmann will do everything to unlock the huge potential of the Audi brand,” VW Group CEO Herbert Diess said on Friday.

Wolfsburg-based VW has been on the lookout for clean-engine expertise at Audi ever since it was discovered that engine management software, which was used to manipulate exhaust emissions tests at Volkswagen, was designed by Audi engineers.

Duesmann is the second high-profile defection from rival German carmaker BMW after VW poached of Herbert Diess in July 2015.

Audi’s works council chief, Peter Mosch, welcomed the appointment of an external manager. “From Markus Duesmann and his team we expect the stable utilisation of our factories and a more courageous approach.”

Reuters