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Bentley Design Director ‘Promoted’ To VW Design Chief – No, He Hasn’t Been Naughty

Andreas Mindt’s newly vacated Bentley chair is now occupied by Bentley’s former exterior design boss

by Chris Chilton

11 hours ago

 Bentley Design Director ‘Promoted’ To VW Design Chief – No, He Hasn’t Been Naughty

by Chris Chilton

How the mighty have fallen. One minute Andreas Mindt was overseeing the design of six- and seven-figure Bentleys; the next he’s trying to work out how to make the 2025 Volkswagen Polo fractionally less boring.

Mindt has just left the British luxury brand, where he was Director of Bentley Design, to become Head of Volkswagen Design. But what might sound like a huge demotion is almost certainly considered a serious promotion in the designer’s eyes.

While we as drivers might aspire to escape our humdrum Volkswagens and own a Bentley, designers might well look at things the other way around. Being in charge of shaping the look of millions of Volkswagens, rather than merely a few thousand Bentleys, means Mindt has far more power and influence than he ever did before. He replaces Jozef Kabaň, who becomes Creative Art Director Volkswagen, which VW says means he “will develop forward-looking mobility solutions for the Volkswagen brand,” whatever that means.

More: VW Replaces Design Chief Because CEO Was Reportedly Unimpressed With His Work

 Bentley Design Director ‘Promoted’ To VW Design Chief – No, He Hasn’t Been Naughty
Mindt oversaw Bentley’s new design direction, showcased here on the Batur

Mindt began his career at VW in 1996, working on cars like the Tiguan and Mk7 Golf before switching to premium sister brand Audi to help shape the e-tron GT, Q3 and Q8. He moved across to Bentley Design in 2021 and played a part in shaping the next generation of Bentleys that will take their styling lead from the limited edition Batur.

Mindt’s new appointment means, of course, that Bentley needed a new design boss. And it didn’t have to look far. The man now in charge of the crayons in Bentley’s Crewe HQ is Tobias Sühlmann, a former McLaren, Aston Martin, Bugatti and Volkswagen designer who most recently held the position of Head of Exterior Design at…Bentley.

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By the way, if you’re wondering how these internal VW Group shifts are made, we suspect the guys involved didn’t have an awful lot of say in things. I once asked Stephan Winkelmann, currently Bugatti and Lamborghini boss, so a fairly serious big cheese in the auto industry, about how VW Group switcheroos like his brief move to Audi Sport in 2016 come about. His reply was along the lines of: “You wake up one morning and you get a phone call telling you you’re the new boss of Audi Sport.”

 Bentley Design Director ‘Promoted’ To VW Design Chief – No, He Hasn’t Been Naughty

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