VW Group announced that Walter Maria de Silva, head of design will leave from the company for retirement reasons.
De Silva was the head of Design for all VW Group’s brands for the past nine years and before that he was lead designer in Fiat and Alfa Romeo. He joined VW as head of design in Seat, tasked with giving the Spanish brand a sportier image.
He is responsible for features like the single-frame grille in modern Audis and models like the original Audi R8, the second generation Audi TT, the Lamborghini Egoista concept, Alfa Romeo’s 156 and 147 and the VW Scirocco to name a few. His favorite creation though is the Audi A5 as he once said it was the most beautiful car he had ever designed.
His departure from the company will accelerate the planned reorganization of the Group as VW seeks to reduce its design department’s annual budget by 100 million euros in the wake of the huge emissions cheating scandal.
“Walter de Silva epitomizes creativity and the Italian sense of beauty and style on the one hand and thoroughness, a systematic approach and discipline on the other,” said Matthias Muller, VW Group’s CEO. “Walter de Silva succeeded in establishing a design culture and methodology across all Group brands that is unique in our industry. At the same time, he was the driving force in preserving a high degree of creative autonomy for the brands and their design departments.”