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PORSCHE engineer and vehicle development chief Frank-Steffen Walliser has been appointed chair and CEO of Bentley.

It is his first move from Porsche since 1995. Mr Walliser joins Bentley, part of Volkswagen Group’s premium brand subsidiary Audi AG which also includes Lamborghini, Bentley, and Ducati.

After studying mechanical engineering with a focus on combustion engines and technology management, Frank-Steffen Walliser joined Porsche in 1995 and remained loyal to the brand – until now.

Frank-Steffen Walliser

In 2010, Stuttgart-born Mr Walliser became the overall project leader responsible for development of the petrol-electric 918 Spyder hypercar.

Starting in 2014, he made a name for himself as head of motorsport before taking over management of the 911 and 718 product lines at the beginning of 2019.

Since 2022, he has been in charge of overall vehicle development (vehicle architecture and characteristics) at Porsche.

Audi AG chair Gernot Dollner said: “In Frank-Steffen Walliser, Bentley is getting an experienced engineer with distinct product and technology expertise and entrepreneurial experience who brought brand-defining models to the streets at Porsche, including the Porsche 918 Spyder.

“On Bentley’s ongoing path toward becoming the leading provider in the luxury segment, Frank-Steffen Walliser’s many years of experience and knowledge of the luxury segment will be invaluable.”

Mr Walliser said: “I am approaching this job with great respect and looking forward to having a team in Crewe that has shown impressive performance over the last few years.

“The continuing transformation of the automotive industry will be a major task for Bentley as well, a task that I am happy to take on with the team.

“I am convinced Bentley will continue to set standards in the luxury segment in the future.”

By Neil Dowling

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