Porsche Design Director Michael Mauer to Head VW Group Design

Porsche design vice president Michael Mauer will soon be overseeing the Group’s wider design activities, Volkswagen announced today. Mauer will effectively replace Walter de’Silva who abruptly retired at the end of last month.

As head of Volkswagen Group Design, Mauer will oversee all 12 brands under the VW Group umbrella — including Audi, Bugatti, Bentley, Ducati, Lamborghini, MAN, Seat, Scania, Skoda, Volkswagen and Volkswagen Group Commercial vehicles as well as Italdesign Giugiaro — in addition to his present function at Porsche, a position he’s held for 11 years.

A graduate of Pforzheim University, Mauer started his career at Mercedes-Benz in Sindelfingen in 1986. In 1989 he was appointed design project leader for the Mercedes V Class models and two years later was in charge of designing the first generation (R170) SLK. Mauer also worked on the design of the original A-Class, three generations of the SL model, led the Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design Studio in Tokyo, Japan, and was in charge of design at Smart.

In June 2000 Mauer joined Saab as executive director of design and also took responsibility for advanced design at General Motors Europe in March 2003. He has been Head of the Design Department at Porsche AG since 2004, where he’s ushered in the 997 and 991 model 911 as well as the 2007 Cayenne, the Panamera, Macan and the 918 Spyder. He’s also been responsible for overseeing the design of all industrial products conceived under the Porsche brand.

We’ll have to wait until Mauer settles into his new role before we formally discuss his objectives (and how he’s planning to manage his time!). In the meanwhile, we decided to find out what’s in his garage…

You’ve had a long career designing some outstanding vehicles. What is it that you like well enough to keep?
First of all, if you work with Porsche you can drive and have to drive beautiful cars everyday. I have a Panamera GTS and a Macan. In my garage I have a 911, a 2007 model year 997, a GT3, and a 1986 G-model. All black.

Mercedes-Benz SLK concept (1994)
Mercedes-Benz SLK concept (1994)

No Saabs?
Nope. I started my career in Mercedes and my first assignment was the first generation Mercedes SLK. I still have 2000 model year SLK.

It’s nice to have something that you designed in your collection. Every designer should aspire to that.
Yeah. I thought that would be a nice idea. But then it becomes a little bit more complicated because I’m basically involved in each and every product. I don’t have space anymore.

Something tells me his new appointment isn’t going to solve this dilemma.


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