Peter Mertens

Peter Mertens

Audi has appointed Volvo Cars' head of research and development as its new head of technical development.

Mertens will replace Audi's former R&D chief Stefan Knirsch, who left the premium brand in September. VW Group top management positions have seen a number of changes as a result of the fallout from the 'dieselgate' scandal.

Audi chief Rupert Stadler praised Mertens as a specialist with an exceptional breadth of experience: "Mertens has exceptionally broad technical expertise and an international background in the automotive industry. These are ideal qualifications for him to make further progress with the Technical Development division at Audi."

After his apprenticeship as a toolmaker, Peter Mertens studied production technology at Ostwestfalen-Lippe University of Applied Sciences. In 1985, he gained a master of science degree in industrial engineering and operations research at Virginia Polytechnic Institute in the United States. Between 1985 and 1990, he was head of the technology transfer department at the University of Kaiserslautern, where he gained a doctorate in engineering.

His first position in the automotive industry was at the then Mercedes-Benz AG, where he passed through several management positions as of 1990. In 1996, he was appointed chief executive of Tegaron Telematics GmbH, a joint venture between DaimlerChrysler Services AG and Deutsche Telekom AG in Bonn. In 2002, he moved to Adam Opel AG, first as executive director for medium-sized and large model series. This was followed by responsibility for the compact cars of General Motors Europe in 2004 and for all compact cars of General Motors worldwide in 2005. In late 2010, Mertens was appointed to the management board of Jaguar Land Rover and was responsible for corporate quality for the entire Tata Motors Group including Jaguar Land Rover. As of March 2011, he was Senior Vice President Research & Development at Volvo Car Corporation.

Peter Mertens was born in 1961. He is married and has three children.

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