MUNICH -- Volkswagen Group today named Ulrich Hackenberg as Audi's head of technical development, replacing Wolfgang Duerheimer who will move to another position within the VW Group.
Hackenberg, 63, will also be promoted to head of technical development for all VW Group brands, VW said in a statement. He has been development chief for the core VW brand since 2007.
Duerheimer, a former Bentley CEO and r&d chief at Porsche, has come under growing criticism from top VW Group managers who think the brand's surge is losing momentum.
Audi touts "advancement through technology" as its marketing slogan but has become a follower of technology trends too often set by luxury-market leader BMW. Audi is also too dependent on China, a senior VW Group executive said in a recent interview.
Hackenberg is a close confidante of VW Group CEO Martin Winterkorn. He served at Audi before in various development-related positions between 2002 and 2007, assisting Winterkorn, who was then still head of the brand.
Duerheimer, 55, took over as Audi development chief last September after his predecessor, Michael Dick, was replaced in a groupwide management reshuffle following criticism that Audi was losing its technology edge.