Audi names VW executive as production chief

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MUNICH -- Audi named Volkswagen executive Hubert Waltl as its production chief. Waltl succeeds Frank Dreves who is retiring.

Currently Waltl, 55, is production boss at Volkswagen brand. Audi said Dreves, 61, will retire on March 31 at his own request.

Audi CEO Rupert Stadler said in a statement that Waltl is "an Audi man through and through."

Waltl began his automotive career at Audi, joining the luxury brand's toolmaking department as an apprentice in 1976 before moving to VW.

Waltl has been head of production at VW brand since 2009, during which time he introduced the brand's modular production system and developed additional VW plants outside Germany.

Dreves, who started his career as a machinery mechanic, was appointed Audi production chief in 2007.

Stadler said Audi will build more vehicles outside Germany for the first time this year and Dreves played a crucial part in the brand's internationalization, as well as in introducing the Audi Production System to improve quality and flexibility.

VW said that Thomas Ulbrich, 47, will succeed Waltl as VW brand's production chief. Currently Ulbrich is head of production at Shanghai-Volkswagen Automotive in China.

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