Volkswagen AG announced Friday that it has hired Klaus-Gerhard Wolpert as its new chief product strategist.
Wolpert, who spearheaded development of Porsche's best-selling car, the Cayenne premium SUV, is the latest Porsche AG executive to shift over to controlling shareholder VW Group.
Starting Oct. 1, Wolpert will replace Matthias Mueller, who on the same day succeeds Michael Macht as Porsche CEO. Macht is leaving his post to replace Jochem Heizmann as VW Group production boss. Heizmann remains on the VW Group board as chief of the company's truck business. Meanwhile, Frank Tuch, a former Porsche executive, joined VW as group quality chief on Aug. 1.
“Porsche and Volkswagen are continuing to dovetail,” VW Group CEO Martin Winterkorn said in a statement Friday.
Volkswagen, which aims to surpass Toyota Motor Corp. in deliveries and profitability by 2018, is taking over Porsche Automobil Holding SE's automaking operations. The companies are building on a partnership that includes sharing vehicle platforms such as the Cayenne, which has the same underpinnings as the VW Touareg and the Q7 from VW Group premium brand Audi.
Wolpert, who has a degree in engineering, joined Porsche in 1984. He became a chassis development department head in 1990. Two years later he was promoted to assistant of the board of management's development division. In 1995, Wolpert took charge of Porsche's cooperation projects. He has been head of development for the Cayenne model line since July 1998.