Kurt Blumenröder takes up the role next year.
Volkswagen is bringing in an outsider to fill its vacancy as head of powertrain, amid continued heavy fallout from the Dieselgate emissions scandal.
Kurt Blumenröder will take up the role in 2018, and was previously speaker of the management board for Automotive Engineering GmbH. He will take up his new role promptly on 1 January, succeeding Friedrich Eichler, who became head of chassis development of the Volkswagen brand with effect from 1 September.
Blumenröder, who holds a degree in mechanical and production engineering, started his career in 1990 with Daimler. From 1998 to 2004, he was managing director of the German Institute for Engine Construction – now known as MBtech Group – in Munich. In 2002, he returned to Daimler, this time as managing director of Mercedes-Benz Technology. He remained there for three years before taking up his current role at IAV in 2005.
Former head of powertrain Eichler also has a degree in mechanical engineering and began his career with Volkswagen in 1993. Following stints with VW subsidiaries Audi and Porsche, he moved to Mercedes-AMG where he served as head of drivetrain development from 2007. Upon returning to Volkswagen, he was head of gasoline engine development from 2013 and head of powertrain development from 2014.
The Volkswagen board has been forced to clear out swathes of middle and senior management in the wake of the Dieselgate emissions scandal and the company has struggled to make headway, with sales down in Europe. It recently announced an ambitious strategy to invest billions in electric technology, which would see it become the leading player in what looks set to become the technology of the future.