Starting January 1, Matthias Rabe will serve as the head of research and development of Volkswagen AG's Spanish unit Seat. The 48-year-old is the replacement of Frank Bekemeier, who was named head of product development at Volkswagen Shanghai.
The task that Rabe will be leaving is that of being responsible of bodywork development for all Volkswagen brand vehicles.
Rabe will be succeeded by Frank Welsch, who is presently the director of product development at Shanghai Volkswagen. It was in 1988 that Rabe started working for Volkswagen as a mechanical engineer.
He was given promotions through several strategy and production development departments. In 2007, Rabe was appointed to head VW bodywork development.
Meanwhile, 51-year-old Bekemeier has been with Volkswagen since 1982. He headed vehicle development at Audi for three years until 2006, when he was named as Seat's vice president for r&d.
Welsch’s career in Volkswagen began in 1994 when he worked in research and development in Wolfsburg.
After heading body structure development at the Volkswagen passenger cars in 2003, he worked as director of product development at Shanghai Volkswagen starting in 2009. [via autonews - sub. required]