Bentley design chief Mindt to head VW brand styling

Volkswagen brand is replacing its design chief, Jozef Kaban, with Bentley’s design boss, Andreas Mindt, according to company sources.

Mindt will take up the post at VW brand on Feb. 1, the sources told Automotive News Europe sister publication Automobilwoche.

Mindt’s successor at Bentley will be Tobias Suehlmann, who currently heads exterior design at the VW Group ultraluxury brand, people familiar with the matter said. Suehlmann joined Bentley in October 2021, having previously worked at Bugatti, Aston Martin, McLaren and VW brand.

Kaban, who took charge of VW brand design in 2020, will be given a new post within VW Group.

VW brand’s new CEO, Thomas Schaefer, has not been impressed by some of Kaban’s designs, according to sources.

Kaban was asked to change the retro styling of the ID Life concept unveiled at the 2021 IAA Munich auto show for a more modern look. The concept was supposed to preview the look of VW’s entry-level ID electric car due in 2025.

Schaefer also asked Kaban’s design team to rework the styling VW brand’s upcoming Trinity flagship EV to give it a crossover look instead of a sedan appearance.

Kaban started his career in 1999 at VW Group, where he worked for Audi, Bugatti and Skoda.

Father’s footsteps

Kaban’s successor, Mindt, is also a VW Group veteran.

Mindt, 53, grew up in Wolfsburg, home of VW’s global headquarters. His father was a designer at VW.

VW declined to comment on the changes. The company is expected to officially announce the appointments in the coming days.

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