VW Design Chief To Be Removed Over Retro Designs, Preference for Sedans: Report

Jozef Kaban is out as design boss but will reportedly stay at the VW Group in a different position.

byNico DeMattia|
Volkswagen Group News photo

It's being reported that Volkswagen's head of design, Jozef Kaban, is out. According to Automotive News, Kaban is being replaced by Bentley design boss Andreas Mindt, who will reportedly step into his new role February 1.

The Drive reached out to Volkswagen, who declined to comment.

This report, which originally came from German publication Automobilwoche, claims that new VW CEO Thomas Schaefer wasn't thrilled with some of Kaban's designs. Most notably, Schaefer wanted Kaban to restyle the retro-futuristic ID Life concept, which debuted at the 2021 IAA Munich auto show. Schaefer also reportedly wanted Kaban to change the Trinity concept—a flagship electric sedan, set to debut in 2026—from a sedan to a crossover. It's unclear if there was any pushback by Kaban but it's no surprise that Schaefer would want to push for more crossovers, given their popularity among EV buyers.

Thankfully Kaban was at least able to get one retro-futuristic design into production before his ousting, the ID Buzz. That car's funky throwback design has made it popular among VW enthusiasts who've been asking for the return of the iconic VW Bus.

Volkswagen ID Life

Kaban, who's been working for the Volkswagen Group since 1999—with a brief stint at the BMW Group in between—will reportedly remain with VW in a different position. Though, there's no official word as to what sort of position he'll take within the company.

With Andreas Mindt moving over from Bentley, the uber-luxury brand will need a new design boss. Tobias Suehlmann will be getting promoted to the vacant position from his current spot as Bentley's head of exterior design. Suehlmann is also a VW Group veteran, having designed cars for Volkswagen and Bugatti, as well as Bentley.

While there's no official comment from Volkswagen, an announcement is said to be coming before the end of the month.

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