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Task Of Reviving Audi Brand To Be Undertaken By Former BMW Executive

Task Of Reviving Audi Brand To Be Undertaken By Former BMW Executive
The 2015 diesel-cheating scandal had resulted in the German premium car maker Audi losing out some of its key engineering know-how and influence and now its parent company Volkswagen has appointed Markus Duesmann, a former BMW executive, for addressing the situations and bringing Audi on track.
Starting April 1 next year, Duesmann will take on the mantle as the chief executive of Audi and additionally will also have a board level responsibility in the area of research  and development at the Volkswagen Group, announced the Wolfsburg-based multi-brand auto giant VW.
Developing and propagating a new meaning into the company's advertising slogan "Vorsprung Durch Technik", or "advancement through technology" will be the primary responsibility of the new job for Duesmann. That business slogan had suffered and taken a beating a number of its senior engineers were fired by Audi in response to the diesel emission cheating scandal.
"Markus Duesmann will do everything to unlock the huge potential of the Audi brand," Volkswagen Group Chief Executive Herbert Diess said at a press conference in Wolfsburg on Friday.
Within the Volkswagen group, the Ingolstadt, Bavaria based Audi was a major research and development hub and the role included setting of standards in aerodynamic efficiency, lightweight aluminum construction, dual-clutch gearbox technology and four-wheel drive systems.
However after it was discovered that Audi engineers had designed the engine management software that was at the centre of the diesel emission cheating scandal that embroiled VW in 2015, it significantly dented the brand image of Audi and that resulted in the premium car maker firing engineering chief of a number of departments and its long-term CEO.
A sales expert, Bram Schot has interim CEO, was appointed by Audi after its chief Rupert Stadler was dismissed and since then it has been very difficult for the company to redefine "Vorsprung durch Technik."
"We need to partly refine the 'Vorsprung'. We are working on it," Audi's sales chief Hildegard Wortmann told Reuters at the Frankfurt car show in September.
"We don't need little 'Vorsprung' stories, we need real 'Vorsprung' stories," Audi's current head of research and development, Hans-Joachim Rothenpieler said.
Rothenpieler said that the two pillars upon which Audi can resurrect its brand claim are Audi's electric car e-tron as well as fuel cell technology.
The appointment of an external manager was welcomed by Audi's works council chief, Peter Mosch. "From Markus Duesmann and his team we expect the stable utilization of our factories and a more courageous approach."

Christopher J. Mitchell

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