Volkswagen AG's Spanish unit Seat has named Matthias Rabe as head of research and development.
Rabe will replace Frank Bekemeier, who has been appointed head of product development at Volkswagen Shanghai.
Rabe, 48, is currently in charge of bodywork development for all Volkswagen brand vehicles. Frank Welsch, currently director of product development at Shanghai Volkswagen, will be Rabe's successor.
The appointments are effective Jan. 1.
Rabe joined the Volkswagen in 1988, after qualifying in mechanical engineering. After rising through strategy and production development departments, he was appointed to head VW bodywork development in 2007.
Bekemeier, 51, has been with Volkswagen since 1982. He was in charge of vehicle development at Audi for three years until 2006, when he was appointed as Seat's vice president for r&d.
Welsch, 49, a mechanical engineer, began his career with the Volkswagen in 1994, working in research and development in Wolfsburg.