Andreas Mindt, currently Bentley’s head of design, will become the Volkswagen brand’s design chief starting on February 1, 2023.
This brings to an end to the short reign, which only began in 2020, of Jozef Kaban as the Volkswagen brand’s head of design. He will move on to the newly created role of Creative Art Director.
Based in the Volkswagen Group’s Future Center Europe in Potsdam, Germany, Kaban will be responsible for developing “forward-looking mobility solutions for the Volkswagen brand”.
Sources have told Automotive News Europe Volkswagen brand CEO Thomas Schäfer wasn’t pleased with Kaban’s designs, and decided to move him on.
Schäfer reportedly asked Kaban and his team to redesign the upcoming flagship Trinity EV, as well as the ID.Life, a new entry-level EV due around 2025.
Kaban started his working life at Volkswagen before moving over to BMW in 2017 to become its design chief before moving sideways to take the reigns of the Rolls-Royce’s design team. He returned to Volkswagen in the middle of 2020 to become the volume brand’s head of design.
His replacement Andreas Mindt has spent all of his career at Volkswagen. He started at the automaker in 1996 after graduating from the Pforzheim University School of Design.
In 2021 he was promoted to become Bentley’s chief designer, where he was tasked to come up with a new design language for the super-luxury marque as it transitions to becoming an EV-only manufacturer by 2030.
The only Bentley design of Mindt’s that’s seen the light of day so far is the Mulliner Batur coupe, only 18 of which will be built with a starting price of £1.65 million ($2.88 million).
Tobias Sühlmann, current head of exterior design for the British marque, will step into Mindt’s shoes as the head of Bentley’s 50-strong design team.
While Sühlmann only joined Bentley in 2021, his previous roles have included being Aston Martin Lagonda’s chief exterior designer from 2018 to 2020, and as chief designer for special projects at McLaren between 2020 and 2021.