New Boss for Audi: Fresh From BMW, Markus Duesmann Takes Over As CEO in April

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

Eleven months after making interim CEO Bram Schot a permanent fixture in the big chair, Audi AG’s board has found someone else to lead the luxury brand.

Markus Duesmann, a mechanical engineer who served as BMW’s board member in charge of purchasing until his contract ran out in September, will take over from Schot on April 1st, 2020. Schot has apparently decided to leave Volkswagen Group at the end of March “by best mutual agreement.” He got the job after his predecessor, Rupert Stadler, was arrested for suspected involvement in the company’s diesel emissions scandal.

Duesmann, 50, takes the helm of the brand at a significant and challenging time. Like its parent, Ausi is wildly invested in electrification, seeing the switch from fossil fuels to electrons as the only path forward. The brand’s first battery-electric product, the E-Tron crossover, hit the market earlier this year.

Audi won’t have the market to itself. With European lawmakers in love with ever-more-stringent emissions mandates, pushing hard into electrification has as much to do with financial survival as it does clean air and stable temperatures. Rivals BMW and Mercedes-Benz plan to basically match the brand product-for-product.

Of course, Bimmer’s plans will be no secret to the incoming CEO, a man whose outside-the-company origins is useful at a time when German investigators are still snooping around.

“As an excellent engineer, Markus Duesmann will do everything in his power to leverage the great potential of the Audi brand and will once again demonstrate the promise of Vorsprung durch Technik,” VW Group CEO Herbert Diess said in a statement.

That said, the brand stressed what it really wants Duesmann to achieve. “Among the most important cornerstones of the new Audi strategy are the accelerated transformation into a provider of sustainable mobility and the determined decarbonization of the company,” Audi said.

Sustainable likely has a double meaning here.

Peter Mosch, chairman of the company’s general works council, didn’t let his mind stray far from his members in welcoming Duesmann aboard, stating his desire to see the future CEO “ensure stable capacity utilization at the plants and to promote more courage to take the lead through technology.”

Both Mosch and Diess had kind words for the departing Schot, who took the helm at a rocky time. “He started a cultural transformation towards fewer hierarchies, a clear value system and more openness,” Mosch said.

[Image: Audi AG]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • ToolGuy ToolGuy on Nov 15, 2019

    "determined decarbonization of the company" No more #2 pencils, I guess.

    • ToolGuy ToolGuy on Nov 17, 2019

      No carbon-based life forms to make mistakes... this idea might have merit.

  • Thejohnnycanuck Thejohnnycanuck on Nov 15, 2019

    So instead of ugly-ass ICE SUVs we can look forward to ugly-ass EV SUVs. Check please...

  • Rust-MyEnemy Whoa, what the hell is wrong with Jalop1991 and his condescension? It's as if he's employed by Big Plug-In or something."I've seen plenty of your types on the forums....."Dunno what that means, but I'm not dead keen on being regarded as "A type" by a complete stranger"" I'm guessing you've never actually calculated by hand the miles you've driven against the quantity of gas used--which is your actual miles per gallon."Guess again. Why the hell would you even say that? Yes, I worked it out. Fill-to-fill, based on gas station receipts. And it showed me that a Vauxhall Astra PHEV, starting out with a fully charged PHEV battery, in Hybrid mode, on my long (234-mile) daily motorway daily commute, never, over several months, ever matched or beat the economy of the regular hybrid Honda Civic that I ran for a similar amount of time (circa 5000 miles)."You don't use gasoline at all for 30-40 miles as you use exclusively battery power, then your vehicle is a pure hybrid. Over 234 miles, you will have used whatever gas the engine used for 200 of those miles."At least you're right on that. In hybrid mode, though, the Astra was using battery power when it wasn't at all appropriate. The petrol engine very rarely chimed in when battery power was on tap, and as a result, the EV-mode range quickly disappeared. The regular hybrid Civic, though, deployed its very small electric reserves (which are used up quickly but restore themselves promptly), much more wisely. Such as when on a trailing throttle or on a downward grade, or when in stop-start traffic. As a result, at the end of my 234 miles, the Civic had used less gas than the Astra. Moreover, I hadn't had to pay for the electricity in its battery.I look forward to you arguing that what actually happened isn't what actually happened, but I was there and you were not."Regardless, that you don't understand it appears not to have stopped you from pontificating on it. Please, do us all a favor--don't vote."You really are quite unpleasant, aren't you. But thanks for the advice.
  • Tassos Jong-iL Electric vehicles are mandated by 2020 in One Korea. We are ahead of the time.
  • 1995_SC Can you still get some of the tax credits under the new program?
  • Analoggrotto HyundaiGenesisKia saw this coming a long time ago and are poised for hybrid and plug-in hybrid segment leadership:[list=1][*] The most extensive range of hybrids[/*][*]Highest hybrid sales proportion over any other model [/*][*]Best YouTube reviews [/*][*]Highest number of consumer reports best picks [/*][*]Class leading ATPs among all hybrid vehicles and PHEVs enjoy segment bearing eATPs[/*][/list=1]While some brands like Toyota have invested and wasted untold fortunes into full range electric lineups HyundaiKiaGenesis has taken the right approach here.
  • EBFlex The answer is yes. Anyone that says no is just….. wrong.But the government doesn’t want people to have that much freedom and the politicians aren’t making money off PHEVs or HEVs. So they will be stifled.
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