VW Group design head Walter de Silva to retire November-end
Volkswagen Group design chief Walter de Silva will leave the company at the end of the month. The designer will retire after 17 years at the VW Group, which has included stints as design chief of Audi, Lamborghini and Seat. He had led the Group’s overall design since 2007.
A replacement for the sixty-four-year-old designer, who is also well known from a 12-year stint at Alfa Romeo in the 1980s and 90s, has not yet been announced. However, whether or not de Silva, a close confidant of former VW Group CEO Martin Winterkorn, will actually be replaced full time is likely up for debate itself as VW looks to trim costs in the fallout of emissions scandal.
The German business paper Handelsblatt reported today that VW was looking at reduce the annual design budget of €100 million, according to Automotive News Europe.
De Silva will retain an advisory role at the Group after he leaves. He is exiting all posts at the VW Group, including as president of Italdesign Giugiaro, a role he only took on in September. He did not have a comment attributed to him in a VW statement announcing his departure, although new VW Group CEO Matthias Muller paid tribute to de Silva’s work.