Audi boss Döllner brings new chief designer from JLR

Audi boss Döllner brings new chief designer from JLR
Audi boss Döllner brings new chief designer from JLR

Since 2011, Frascella (52) has held senior positions for JLR, most recently as “head of design for both brands,” as Audi writes in the statement. But this is only true to a limited extent; as is well known, JLR abolished Land Rover as a brand and in its “House of Brands” speaks of the previous models as brands under the JLR umbrella. At Audi, the designer is supposed to do nothing less than “set the course for the future generations of Audi models”. The automotive industry is moving towards electrically powered cars that can potentially drive autonomously – both technology changes also require a new design – or enable a new design, to put it optimistically.

Audi boss Gernot Döllner’s demands on his new chief designer are high. “Design has always been part of the brand core, the DNA of the Audi brand. That’s why, especially in this phase of technological transformation, the following applies: Advantage through technology must be visible and noticeable in the interior and exterior of all future series models,” says Döllner. “Massimo Frascella will ensure that Audi vehicles embody the brand’s identity with a distinctive and emotional design language. At the heart of his design philosophy are clarity, precision and perfect proportion – qualities that fit seamlessly into the Audi brand image.”

Frascella states that the essence of his approach to design is “the simple”. “My passion is a design without unnecessary ornamentation and that does not simply follow contemporary trends, but embodies timeless aesthetics and sophistication,” says the new Audi designer. “I feel deeply honored to take on the role of Chief Creative Officer and to lead a highly talented team of Audi designers who are shaping the future of the brand to be as innovative and distinctive as possible.”

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In recent years, Audi has presented several concept studies for the upcoming technology changes, which outlined the future of the brand with the four rings, from a van-like spatial concept to an elegant electric convertible. These studies were designed under Marc Lichte, who had headed Audi design since 2014. During Lichte’s tenure at Audi, the brand’s first independent electric series were created – the e-tron, the e-tron GT and the Q4 model family.

Lichte is no longer allowed to implement this future – at least not at Audi. He will take on other tasks within the group, according to the statement. With his successor Massimo Frascella, the focus will probably be entirely on electric cars: As reported, Audi only wants to bring new models onto the global market from 2026 that are purely electrically powered.

Audi boss Döllner, who succeeded Markus Duesmann on September 1, 2023, is currently implementing his “Audi Agenda”, with which he wants to make the premium brand future-proof, for example with “Software Defined Vehicles” as well as more efficiencies and synergies planning and development. Therefore, there were numerous personnel changes at management level a few weeks ago, but not yet on the board.


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