Former top World Rally Championship co-driver Sven Smeets will take over from Jost Capito as Volkswagen Motorsport Director.
Capito moves across to arguably his greatest challenge as new chief executive at McLaren F1 when he officially takes up his post at the Woking-based operation later this week.
Smeets takes charge of Volkswagen’s enviable World Rally Championship operation which has dominated rallying’s top tier for the past three years.
The 44-year-old Belgian joined Volkswagen Motorsport in 2012 as team manager before taking the role as Sporting Director this year.
He had enjoyed a 10-year WRC co-driving career predominantly for Freddy Loix between 1995 and 2005 before teaming with Francois Duval in the Citroen Xsara in his final season.
Dr. Frank Welsch Volkswagen board member said: “We are confident that we will be able to continue our success story in the World Rally Championship and the strategic development of our motorsport projects with Sven and the rest of the management team at the helm.
“At the same time, we would like to thank Jost Capito, under whose leadership Volkswagen has won every title on offer in the World Rally Championship for the past three years. We wish him all the best for the future.”
Volkswagen is ideally placed this season to complete four consecutive driver’s (Sebastien Ogier) and manufacturer’s WRC titles.