FRANKFURT -- Bentley's design chief, Luc Donckerwolke, a 49-year-old veteran of Volkswagen Group who headed design for three brands, including Lamborghini and Seat, has left the carmaker, VW said, without citing reasons.
VW named Stefan Sielaff, the 53-year-old head of its Potsdam design center in Germany, to replace Donckerwolke as design chief of its U.K.-based ultraluxury brand starting July 1.
Donckerwolke, Bentley's design chief since 2012, made headlines in March after he slammed the new design of the Lincoln Continental as a copy of his Bentley Flying Spur, sarcastically asking the troubled U.S. premium marque on Facebook, "Do you want us to send you the product tooling?" The comment was considered "offensive" by Lincoln's designer, David Woodhouse.
During his time at VW, Donckerwolke was responsible for the designs of the Audi R8 Le Mans, the Lamborghini Murcielago and Gallardo and the Seat Tribu SUV concept.
In the statement, VW head of group design Walter de' Silva thanked the Belgian for his work over the years. "Luc Donckerwolke has played a key role in the design of various Group brands," he said.
Sielaff joined VW in 1990, beginning his career in the interior design department at Audi. After a three-year stint at DaimlerChrysler, he returned to the VW Group in 2006 to become Audi's design boss. In 2012, he was appointed head of the VW design center in Potsdam and chief of group interior design strategy in 2012.
In his new function as director of design at Bentley, Sielaff reports to the brand's engineering chief, Rolf Frech. He remains head of group interior design strategy, where he continues to report to de' Silva.