BERLIN Dec 5 Audi's chief designer will quit at
the end of the year, the latest in a string of high-level
departures from a company wrestling with BMW for
dominance of the luxury car market, Germany's Auto Bild magazine
Wolfgang Egger, who has led vehicle design at Volkswagen's
Audi and Lamborghini brands since 2007, will move to
a leading position at VW-owned Italodesign Giugiaro, the weekly
magazine said in an excerpt ahead of publication on Friday.
He will be replaced by Marc Lichte, a senior designer at
VW's core passenger-car brand who has helped shape the latest
version of the Golf hatchback, VW's best-selling model, Auto
Bild said. Prior to joining Audi, Egger held positions at Fiat's
Alfa Romeo and Lancia brands.
Ingolstadt-based Audi declined to comment. Parent company VW
did not return calls seeking comment.
Egger's departure, if confirmed, would come six months after
development chief Wolfgang Duerheimer was sacked. An Audi
management shake-up in 2012 had already forced out three other
Egger launched a new design strategy in November 2012 to
emphasize technology features in auto design with a goal of
underlining differences between Audi's passenger cars,
performance models and SUVs.
Audi sales grew 6.7 percent in October from a year earlier
to 131,950 luxury cars and sport-utility vehicles on demand for
the compact A3 and Q3 models.
Audi plans to create a more distinctive image for high-end
models and sportier vehicles, a source with direct knowledge of
the matter told Reuters.
An effort by the prestigious VW brand to keep its No. 2 spot
in global luxury car sales risks stalling without a new
(Reporting by Andreas Cremer; editing by Tom Pfeiffer)