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Bentley Batur Designer Tobias Suhlmann Will Lead Brand Design Dept to Electric Age

Bentley Motors has just announced that it will have a new design director, Tobias Sühlmann, who has been promoted from within the company. Sühlmann used to be the Head of Exterior Design at Bentley, and he will succeed Andreas Mindt as Director of Design for the Crewe brand.
Tobias Sühlmann - Bentley Motors Design Director 23 photos
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In case you were wondering about his credentials, Tobias Sühlmann has two decades of experience in automotive design, and he held senior positions in the respective departments of Aston Martin, McLaren, Bugatti, and Volkswagen. In the latter case, he joined the German brand back in 2005 at its Potsdam bureau, and then moved onto Volkswagen Design in Wolfsburg in 2007.

While you may not have known his name, Tobias Sühlmann worked on the Volkswagen Passat, the 2019 VW Arteon, and the 2019 Touareg, and that is just naming the production vehicles. When concept cars are involved, he made input to several models that were exhibited by the German brand, such as the 2015 Volkswagen Sport Coupe GTE or the T-Prime GTE Concept.

Sühlmann left Bugatti to replace Miles Nurnberger as Aston Martin's Design Director in May 2018, and he had previously joined Bugatti in August 2017 as Head of Exterior Design Creative Development.

Within Bentley, Tobias Sühlmann was described by the firm as being “instrumental” in the look of the Batur, where he worked under the direction of Andreas Mindt. Batur represents a design revolution for the British marque, and its DNA will be seen in more models that will follow as the brand turns to its electrified future.

Tobias Sühlmann will report directly to Dr. Matthias Rabe, who is Bentley's Board Member for Research and Development. His new task is to define the design language for Bentley's electrified future. While that may seem a bit too general as a job description overall, you should not imagine that he will spend time on social media while others will design new Bentley production cars.

Sühlmann will begin his new role at Bentley starting February 1, 2023. As we previously noted, he is replacing Andreas Mindt, his former boss, who will move to Volkswagen Passenger Cars to be the brand's Head of Design.

Before joining Bentley as Head of Design in March 2021, Andreas Mindt was the Head of Exterior Design at Audi AG up until December 2020. He brought 25 years of experience in automotive design with him to the Crewe marque, and it looks like he will do the same (with a bit more experience on top) with the Wolfsburg brand.

Back in the day at Audi, Mindt worked on pivotal models for the brand, such as the e-tron, where he was involved with exterior design. Mindt is replacing Jozef Kaban, but it is not clear where the Czech designer is moving from this role.

Just a few days ago, we wrote about an alleged design chief change within Volkswagen, and while its motives may still be hidden from public view, it looks like the people who changed jobs are those mentioned in the initial story.

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