The latest word from the international community of automotive designers has it that Wolfgang Egger is leaving Italdesign, but just where the accomplished designer will land next and who will take his place remain big question marks.

Egger is a designer who has bounced back and forth between Italy and Germany over the course of his career. He was born in Germany but studied in Milan. He began his career at Alfa Romeo in 1989 and was named its chief designer by 1993 before being head-hunted by the Volkswagen Group in 1998 to head up the design department at Seat. A few years later he went returned to Italy to run the Lancia design department, and was subsequently renamed to the same post at Alfa Romeo. In 2007 he went back to his native Germany to head up the Audi design office, over which he assumed complete responsibility by 2012, but left Audi in 2013 to run Italdesign.

For those unfamiliar, Italdesign is the studio founded by Giorgetto Giugiaro (pictured at left next to Egger) back in 1968 but which, along with many other Italian design houses, fell on hard times in recent years. The Volkswagen Group swooped in to rescue the troubled studio in 2010, turning it into something of an in-house advanced design department to provide an alternative perspective on the direction in which the group and its various brands could take their respective designs moving forward.

With Egger now leaving its helm, Italdesign and its German parent company will need to find his replacement, and we're sure they'll announce one in due course. The bigger question on our minds, however, is where Egger himself will head next. Given the path his career has taken to date, we wouldn't be surprised to see him land elsewhere in the Volkswagen Group or find a new role in the expanding Fiat Chrysler Automobiles empire. Then again, Egger could find it time to open an entirely new chapter. Watch this space.

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