INGOLSTADT, Germany -- Audi chief designer Wolfgang Egger will move to the Italian design house Italdesign Giugiaro, sources told Automotive News. He will be replaced by senior Volkswagen designer Marc Lichte, according to the sources.
An Audi spokeswoman declined to comment.
Sources said Egger, 50, will be the design chief at Turin-based Italdesign, which like Audi is owned by Volkswagen Group.
Lichte, 44, is credited with several important Volkswagen brand vehicles, notably the last three Golf redesigns.
Egger has nominally headed Audi Design since 2007, but only took over operating responsibility from Stefan Sielaff, 51, in February 2012. Sielaff now oversees the VW Group's interior design.
Egger had led a number of initiatives at Audi, including revising the brand's styl-ing direction to emphasize technology features and reorganizing the styling department. He also oversaw the creation of a new design center in Ingolstadt, which is expected to be completed in about two years.
The reorganization caused friction at Audi, the sources said. Recently, senior Audi designer Achim Badstuebner, 49, left for Mercedes-Benz, where he will lead exterior design.
As head of Italdesign, a formerly independent design house still partly owned by Giorgio Giugiaro, Egger will provide alternative design proposals for the VW Group brands.
In August 2010, VW Group acquired 90.1 percent of the ailing design house.
Before joining Audi, Egger held positions at Fiat's Alfa Romeo and Lancia brands.