Audi has parted ways with its chief technology officer stefan knirsch. The 50-year-old, who only took up his post in january, "is resigning from his position with immediate effect and leaving the company by mutual agreement with the supervisory board," audi announced in ingolstadt today. Reasons not given. However, it has been confirmed in the volkswagen group environment that the u.S. Law firm jones day found information during its investigations into the emissions fraud on behalf of the volkswagen supervisory board that massively incriminated knirsch.
According to the report, he was already aware of the manipulation of the diesel engines at an earlier stage. In addition, employees are said to have incriminated knirsch. Knirsch had worked, with interruptions, at audi and porsche since 1990, and had headed engine development at volkswagen’s audi brand since 2013. Knirsch was appointed in december as the successor to ulrich hackenberg, audi’s board member for development, who was dismissed after the emissions cheating case.
Audi is one of the most important brands in the volkswagen group: with its luxury cars, audi ag has generated almost half of volkswagen’s consolidated profit in recent years. Audi’s history began at the turn of the century in saxony, where the wanderer, horch, audi and dkw companies built bicycles, motorcycles and cars. After the second world war, audi started anew on a former military site in ingolstadt. In 1958, the company became a wholly owned subsidiary of daimler-benz ag, then in 1964 it changed hands to volkswagen.
Today audi employs around 85,000 people worldwide.000 employees worldwide – more than half of them in ingolstadt. Audi also has major plants in neckarsulm, brussels, gyor, hungary, and china, where the company sells a third of its cars. Within the volkswagen group, audi has the lead for the development of autonomous driving cars.