Johan de Nysschen
One of our favorite automotive figures, if mostly for his candor, is no longer an automotive figure: Audi of America president Johan De Nysschen has resigned his post.
The reports are just emerging, but the announcement by De Nysschen relates what appears to be a parting on good terms, at least on his part. "These have truly been the best years of my life, and I know the best years for Audi still lie ahead," said De Nysschen, according to Forbes.
No reasons for De Nysschen's depature have yet been given, but it comes ahead of a rumored reorganization of the Audi and VW brands thought to be aimed at driving up the company's ability to compete with BMW globally.
De Nysschen had been with Audi for 20 years, the last seven spent as president of Audi of America. Details on De Nysschen's successor, or his future plans, haven't been announced.
There may be even more changes coming within the VW Group, including Audi, according to a report from Automotive News (sub. req.). Karl-Thomas Neumann, VW's head of China operations, may leave the company after being passed over for promotion, according to a report in Spiegel, and Audi's technical chief Michael Dick and marketing chief Peter Schwarzenbauer may leave as well. Taking Dick's place may be Bentley CEO Wolfgang Duerheimer, while VW's brand marketing chief Luca de Meo is said to be next in line for Schwarzenbauer's spot.
A VW supervisory board meeting being held today and tomorrow is expected to ratify these changes, and perhaps more, readying the company for a more aggressive run at the VW Group's plans to become the largest carmaker in the world by 2018.