Dr Ulrich Hackenberg, the technical boss of Audi, is set to step down from his position in the German company on the back of the ongoing Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal.
Hackenberg becomes just the latest senior executive to leave the VW Group since revelations of it cheating diesel emissions testing in the United States emerged in mid-September.
He first joined Audi in 1985 and was pivotal in the creation of the Audi A2 and TT and the ultra-efficient Volkswagen XL1. He is also responsible for the versatile MQB modular platform used by a number of VW Group models.
While VW hasn’t mentioned the emissions scandal as the reason for Hackenberg’s departure, he hasn’t been seen in the public eye since September, leading many to speculate that his departure was imminent. He will be replaced by Stefan Knirsch, the existing Head of Powertrain within Audi.
In a statement, Audi’s board of management chairman Rupert Stadler said “In the 30 years that he was active in the Volkswagen Group, Ulrich Hackenberg was involved in crucial strategies and model decisions. The highly flexible modular system resulted in flexible modular production. Both systems helped us to produce very efficiently and with high quality. Numerous car models from Audi, Volkswagen and Bentley were significantly affected by his commitment and expertise. On behalf of the entire Board of Management, I thank him for his many years of commitment and his professional passion.”