Shanghai Volkswagen has appointed Seat EVP research and development Frank Bekemeier as product development director effective 1 January.

New EVP research and development at Seat is to be Matthias Rabe, currently responsible for bodywork development for all Volkswagen brand vehicles. His successor is Frank Welsch, former director of product development at Shanghai Volkswagen.

Bekemeier joined the Volkswagen Group in 1982 taking charge of vehicle design activities, initially for the Volkswagen Group in Wolfsburg and subsequently for Seat from 1990.

He moved to become head of vehicle development at Audi in 2003 and has been EVP of research and development at Seat since April 2006.

Rabe joined the Volkswagen Group in 1988 and was made head of vehicle safety development in 1998, head of Group research in 2003 and head of product strategy in 2006. He has been responsible for bodywork development at the Volkswagen brand since March 2007.

Welsch began his career with the Volkswagen Group in 1994, working in research and development in Wolfsburg. He took charge of body structure development at the Volkswagen passenger cars brand in 2003.

He has been director of product development at Shanghai Volkswagen since April 2009.