Today, June 21st, Audi confirmed it has named Ulrich Hackenberg head of research and development.
Ulrich Hackenberg, will be Audi’s new head of research and development, after Wolfgang Duerheimer, has been moved to another post. Hackenberg will start his job in July and will coordinate development among the group’s various brands.
“This strengthens the role of our brand within the overall group,” said Audi Chief Executive Rupert Stadler.
Yesterday, June 20th, Reuters reported that Audi will name Hackenberg to take Duerheimer’s position after only 10 months on the job, attracting criticism and rumors that the automaker is losing ground to BMW. Hackenberg helped Audi introduce a new cost-effective and flexible production method, which is based on the MLB and MQB modular toolkits.
The MLB and MQB toolkits increase commonality between all VW vehicle segments, helping the automaker to reduce purchasing costs as well as production time. Morgan Stanley predicts that these toolkits will bring the automaker an annual gross savings of $19 billion in the following years.
In 2007 Hackenberg took his current post as VW’s R&D chief, following the Audi CEO Martin Winterkorn to the group’s headquarters, part of a strategy which took Winterkorn to the top of the largest automaker in Europe.