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Guan Xuan! Audi personnel change

2024-05-27 Update From: AutoBeta NAV: AutoBeta > News >

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On February 16, the Audi brand of Volkswagen Group officially announced a major personnel change. Audi said on its website that Massimo Fraschella, former design director of Jaguar Land Rover, would succeed Mark Marc Lichte as design director, an appointment that will take effect from June 1 this year, who will remain in the group to take on the new position.

Data show that the new successor Massimo Fraschera (Massimo Frascella) graduated from IAAD in Turin, now 52 years old, his career began with the Italian design company STILE BERTONE, and has since worked in Ford, Kia and so on. Massimo Fraschera moved from Kia to Jaguar Land Rover in 2011 and became chief creative director of Land Rover before being promoted to chief design director of Jaguar Land Rover in 2020. He has dominated the new generation of Land Rover guardians and flagship Land Rover range Rover models, which were designed by him.

Massimo Fraschella (Massimo Frascella)

Massimo Fraschella said in a news release that "simplicity" is at the core of his car design philosophy, and stressed that he does not follow the trend and hopes to provide an eternal and refined design language.

Marc Lichte, born in 1969 in Alsberg Sauerland, Germany, is an Audi veteran who has been responsible for the styling and design of all Audi models for more than a decade. He has dominated Audi's design department since 2014, leading a series of best-selling models and Audi's new electric car series-Audi e-tron, Audi e-tron GT and Audi Q4. Officials said Mark Lichte would remain in the group to take on the new position, but as of press time, the official did not disclose the exact position.

Mark Lichte (Marc Lichte)

In the official personnel change statement, Audi CEO Genot Dolner (Gernot Dollner) has high hopes for the new chief designer. "Design has always been the core of Audi's brand and part of the brand DNA, especially at this stage of technological transformation, where new designs have to be given to the upcoming series of models from the inside out," it said.

In the past year, Audi has changed its personnel frequently. On September 1st, 2023, Audi announced that Gernot Dollner, vice president of products and group strategy of Volkswagen Group, had replaced Marcus Markus Duesmann as Audi's new CEO. Then, on November 7, the industrial and commercial change took place in Audi China, and Dussman withdrew, adding Baird and Gaudeno, of which Gaudi served as chairman of Audi China. In addition, on January 16 this year, Audi announced that from April 1, 2024, Johannes Roscheck (Johnannes-Rochek) will be the president of Audi China, replacing the current Audi China President Wen Zeyue to manage Audi's related business in the Chinese market.

Auto Industry concern believes that Audi's personnel adjustment is behind or in order to reverse the disadvantage of Audi brand in the domestic luxury car market. Audi sold 579000 vehicles in China in 2014, the first of the three BBA camps to reach annual sales of 500000 vehicles, but since then Audi began to go downhill and was overtaken by Mercedes-Benz and BMW. Mercedes-Benz surpassed Audi with 611000 vehicles in 2017 and BMW overtook Audi and Mercedes-Benz with 777000 vehicles in 2020.

Data show that Audi delivered a total of 729000 new cars in China in 2023, up 14.6% from the same period last year, but still lags behind BMW and Mercedes-Benz in sales. By comparison, BMW ranked first in 2023 with 825000 vehicles, up 4.2 per cent from a year earlier, while Mercedes-Benz ranked second with 765000 vehicles, up 1.7 per cent from a year earlier.

At present, fuel vehicles have reached their peak, and new energy vehicles have gradually become an important product in the layout of traditional automakers. But in the electric transformation, Audi also obviously lags behind BMW and Mercedes-Benz. Oliver Blume, chief executive of Volkswagen Group, said earlier that the Audi brand was lagging behind its competitors, especially in electric vehicles, and promised to revive Audi's highlight moment in the future.

So far, Audi's new energy vehicles sold in China include Q2L e-tron, A6L e-tron, Q4 e-tron, e-tron, Q5L e-tron and so on. According to the data, Audi's pure electric e-tron series models will be delivered in China in 2023 with a total of 31000 vehicles. Among the subdivided models, retail data show that the highest sales of Audi new energy vehicles in 2023 is Q4 e-tron, which is 23400, while the sales of Q5 e-tron, e-tron and Q2L e-tron are 5207, 1969 and 250 respectively, which is a far cry from the sales of new energy vehicles in the mainstream of the car market.

In March 2023, Audi China announced that from 2026, Audi's new models for the global market will be fully switched to pure electric vehicles, and the production of internal combustion engine models will be phased out by 2033. There is no doubt that Audi's new design director will face the important task of "promoting Audi electric models" after taking office. Audi will launch a series of replacement models and new electric models this year and next year. Among them, in terms of trams, new pure electric models such as Audi Q6 e-tron and Audi Q8 e-tron will be launched this year, while traditional fuel models, including A4, A6, Q7, will also be replaced.

According to the plan, Audi will gradually launch 20 new models, including 10 electric cars, by the end of 2025, and Audi will have one pure tram in each market segment in 2027. As for whether Audi can have a different picture under the new design director, it will take more time to see whether Audi will have a different picture.

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