Volkswagen-owned Bentley Motors has appointed lrich Eichhorn as its new member of the board for engineering reporting directly to chairman and chief executive Franz-Josef Paefgen.

Eichhorn will joint Bentley on March 1st, taking over from Hans-Joachim Rothenpieler who will move elsewhere within the Volkswagen Group.

Eichhorn, 41, joins Bentley from Volkswagen where he has been head of research since July 2000. Prior to this, Eichhorn was with Ford for seven years, working in the UK, US and Germany on individual vehicle projects and as worldwide head of vehicle dynamics.

In a statement, Bentley said Eichhorn's role would be to "enhance still further Bentley's fast growing reputation as a centre of engineering excellence, maintaining the momentum that has transformed the business into a state of the art operation in the last four years."