Ex-Volkswagen Group designer Jozef Kabaň has emerged at SAIC in China 

A shake-up of Volkswagen’s design department early in 2023 saw Andreas Mindt replace Jozef Kabaň as head of design, who moved into a new ‘creative art director’ role elsewhere in the group.

We can now report that Kabaň has taken up a new gig in China with SAIC, treading a similar path to ex-colleague Klaus Zyciora, who moved from VW to Changan. Kabaň 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

Kabaň joins at an exciting time for the brand, with MG celebrating its centenary in 2024. SAIC bosses say his appointment “will greatly enhance [our] design competitiveness and internationalisation level…accelerating SAIC Motor’s entry into the global market.” And if conversations at the Geneva Motor Show in March are anything to go by, there are certainly some promising projects in the pipeline. 

The RCA graduate brings a broad mix of experience to the company, working across various segments and bodyshapes – everything 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,” the company says. 

SAIC EXE181 concept

SAIC’s EXE181 concept

Ahead of the Beijing motor show later this week, MG has shared images of its latest concept car, the EXE181, which draws inspiration from the land-speed record-breaking EX181 from 1957. 

Elsewhere, there are still question marks around the rest of the Volkswagen design team. It will be interesting to see where Marc Lichte lands, for example, after it was revealed he would be leaving Audi and supposedly moved into a new role elsewhere in the group.