Volkswagen is lost most of its important names after the Dieselgate scandal. And it is still loosing. The latest resignation comes from a men who designed most of the current fleet.
Walter de Silva joined the Volkswagen Group 17 years ago when he became Head of the Seat Design Centre in 1998. He was put in charge of the design of the Audi brand group, including the brands Audi, Lamborghini and Seat, in 2002. His new design language with Audi was materialised by the 6th generation of the Audi A6 and Audi A5 Coupe. He was appointed Head of Group Design at Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft in 2007.
The range of vehicles created by de Silva include the Alfa 156 (1997) and 147 (2001), the Volkswagen up!, the Polo and the Golf 6 and 7, the Audi R8 and the Audi A5, about which de Silva said that it was “the most beautiful car” he had ever designed.
De Silva began his professional career at the Fiat Design Centre in Turin in 1972. He joined Studio R. Bonetto in Milan in 1975. De Silva was Head of the Industrial Design and Automobiles Area at the Instituto Idea in Turin from 1979 to 1986. After a short stint working for “Trussardi Design Milano”, he switched to Alfa Romeo in 1986, where he was Head of Design until 1998. De Silva established a new design philosophy for the brand with the Alfa Romeo 156 (1997).
The CEO of Volkswagen Group, Matthias Müller, paid tribute to Walter de Silva’s work by saying: “Walter de Silva succeeded in establishing a design culture and methodology across all Group brands that is unique in our industry. At the same time, he was the driving force in preserving a high degree of creative autonomy for the brands and their design departments.”