The new chairman of Skoda will be Winfried Vahland, 53, currently president and CEO of Volkswagen Group China.

He will be succeeded in China by Karl-Thomas Neumann, 49, currently the group chief officer for electric traction based in Wolfsburg.

Rudolf Krebs (53), currently Volkswagen plant manager in Salzgitter, will replace Neumann as electric traction head.

Current Skoda chairman Reinhard Jung, 59, is taking retirement after 36 years with the automaker.

VW chairman Martin Winterkorn said: “Reinhard Jung has been successful in further developing the traditional Škoda brand. The group would like to express its sincere appreciation of this achievement and also thank him for his services in previous management functions.” He added that Jung’s successor Winfried Vahland has outstanding experience in managing companies and brands.

“[He] has been instrumental in making China Volkswagen’s second home market,” Winterkorn said. “Karl-Thomas Neumann, too, will break new ground in China – both in terms of business development and as an expert in future technologies.”

Winfried Vahland joined Audi in Ingolstadt in 1990 as head of company planning, profit analysis and sales controlling. The industrial engineer moved to Wolfsburg in 1993 as director of group controlling. In 1995 he took responsibility for sales controlling of the Volkswagen group and the Volkswagen brand. He was vice president for finance and corporate strategy at Volkswagen do Brasil from 1997 to 2002 and subsequently moved to Škoda as board member for commercial affairs and was made vice chairman in 2003. Vahland took up his present post in July 2005.

Neumann studied electrical engineering. His research work at Fraunhofer Institut from 1989 to 1993 specialised in vehicle electronics. He subsequently moved to Motorola Semiconductor as an engineer and head of strategy for the automotive industry. Neumann joined the Volkswagen Group in Wolfsburg in 1999 where he was head of electronics research and electronics strategy, later also assuming responsibility for electrics/electronics at the Volkswagen brand, before becoming a member of the automotive systems division at Continental in 2004. He was chairman of Continental from August 2008 to September 2009.

Reinhard Jung studied mechanical engineering and joined Volkswagen in 1974. As a project engineer, he held various management functions before becoming head of international production. Having been responsible for various departments in central planning in Wolfsburg and Salzgitter, he was given charge of Volkswagen brand production management. He held the post of plant manager in Brunswick from 1996 to 2001, and was subsequently named president of Volkswagen de México. Jung was appointed board member for production and logistics in 2004. He has been chairman of Škoda since October 2007.