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The Guy VW Fired Last Year Will Now Design Chinese EVs

Key Takeaways

  • Jozef Kaban was fired from Volkswagen for not hitting the right notes in vehicle design, replaced by Andreas Mindt.
  • Despite the setback, Kaban had successes with ID.Buzz and Bugatti Veyron designs in the past.
  • Kaban’s new role as VP of Global Design at SAIC Motor will focus on creating fresh designs for global markets.

Former Volkswagen design chief Jozef Kaban was fired from the company early last year because VW CEO, Thomas Schaefer, didn’t like his work. Vehicles including the ID Life Concept unveiled in 2021 simply didn’t strike the right chord. Kaban was replaced by former Bentley design chief, Andreas Mindt.

Kaban had some hits during his time as design chief with Volkswagen before he was fired. The ID.Buzz was praised for taking the retro styling of the original VW Bus and giving it modern appeal. He also worked on the team that designed the Bugatti Veyron, which is widely hailed as a stunning example of automotive design.

Volkswagen

Moving On

Although Kaban was fired from his position at the top of the design team, Volkswagen kept him with the company. He moved into the newly created role of Creative Art Director at the company’s Future Center Europe in Potsdam, Germany. There, he was responsible for developing mobility solutions for the brand.

Yesterday, Chinese automaker SAIC Motor announced that Kaban is joining its team as Vice President of Global Design at SAIC Design. This group is a part of the company’s R&D Innovation Headquarters, which houses a team of over 10,000 people. Kaban will lead the product design across the full SAIC Motor portfolio of brands.

Jozef Kaban Star Wars ID Buzz
Volkswagen

A Global Impact

SAIC (Shanghai Automotive Industries Corporation) is one of China’s largest automakers with headquarters in Shanghai. This fully state-owned company has a diverse range of products, including MG, which was acquired back in 2007, and this year marks its 100th anniversary. It will be celebrated at the 2024 Goodwood Festival of Speed.

In his new role, Kaban will be responsible for keeping SAIC competitive by working with the global design team to create new vehicles that will appeal to customers worldwide. His expertise will enhance the company’s efforts to expand into global markets with fresh, forward-thinking designs.

Volkswagen Phaeton D2 Concept
Volkswagen

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