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GIANT Chinese car-maker SAIC has appointed former Volkswagen Group designer Jozef Kaban to lead the future design direction of the product range of its MG brand.

Mr Kaban joins MG as vice president of MG’s global design centre.

MG said he “is a world-renowned designer with an impressive background in automotive design, including notable roles at Bugatti, Audi, Skoda, BMW, Rolls Royce, and VW”.

“In his new role, Jozef will lead the design direction of the full MG product line-up, ensuring innovation and style in every vehicle.”    Mr Kaban was previously head of design in the Volkswagen design department but in early 2023 was replaced by Andreas Mindt. Mr Kaban was reported to have moved into a new ‘creative art director’ role elsewhere in the group.

His new role at SAIC is similar to the path of ex-colleague Klaus Zyciora (Bischoff) who moved from Volkswagen to Changan.

Mr Kaban will serve as vice president of the design centre based at SAIC’s R&D Innovation Headquarters, and will report to global design director Shao Jingfeng.

In a statement, SAIC said his appointment “will greatly enhance (our) design competitiveness and internationalisation level … accelerating SAIC Motor’s entry into the global market.”

Mr Kaban, a Royal College of Art graduate, brings a broad mix of experience to the company, working across various segments and body shapes from the Bugatti Veyron hypercar, Audi A5 coupe and ID.Buzz minivan to the Skoda Kodiaq SUV and BMW 7-Series limousine.

“His rich, advanced ideas and rapid design iterations will be beneficial for SAIC Motor to quickly stand out in the era of new energy,” SAIC said.

Mr Kaban joins as MG celebrates its centenary in 2024. It also coincides with MG’s display at the Beijing motor show where the company shared images of its latest concept car, the EXE181, which draws inspiration from the land-speed record-breaking EX181 from 1957.

By Neil Dowling

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