Currently reading: Skoda boss Bernhard Maier to leave firm
Volkswagen Group veteran will leave Czech brand after successful five-year stint in charge

Skoda boss Bernhard Maier will leave the firm at the end of the month, the latest in a string of moves among senior management in the Volkswagen Group.

The 60-year-old German has served as the Czech brand’s CEO since November 2015, when he moved over from sister brand Porsche.

Under his leadership Skoda has greatly expanded its sales and model line-up with the launch of the Kodiaq, Karoq and Kamiq SUVs. The firm is also gearing up to launch the Enyaq iV, its first bespoke electric vehicle, based on the Volkswagen Group’s MEB platform.

No reason for Maier’s departure has been given, nor confirmation on whether he is leaving the Volkswagen Group. Maier has served in various roles within the Group since joining to run Porsche’s German division in 2001.

In a statement, Skoda said a successor would be elected in line with Czech law and would be announced at the firm’s next board meeting in August.

Volkswagen Group chairman Herbert Diess said that Maier “has made an extraordinary contribution to enhancing the brand’s profile,” adding: “His years at Skoda are among the most successful in the company’s 125-year history.”

Maier’s departure from Skoda is the latest in a string of management changes within the Volkswagen Group, with include Ralf Brandstätter taking over as CEO of Volkswagen from Diess.

According to reports in the German media, Maier had been considered for a switch back to take over Porsche from Oliver Blume, who would in turn switch to the CEO role at Volkswagen, but that plan changed after Brandstätter's appointment.

German newspaper Handelsblatt reported that Maier upset some Group board members with his push to expand Skoda sales in key Volkswagen markets while undercutting the German brand on cost, thanks to lower production costs in the Czech Republic.


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James Attwood

James Attwood, digital editor
Title: Acting magazine editor

James is Autocar's acting magazine editor. Having served in that role since June 2023, he is in charge of the day-to-day running of the world's oldest car magazine, and regularly interviews some of the biggest names in the industry to secure news and features, such as his world exclusive look into production of Volkswagen currywurst. Really.

Before first joining Autocar in 2017, James spent more than a decade in motorsport journalist, working on Autosport,, F1 Racing and Motorsport News, covering everything from club rallying to top-level international events. He also spent 18 months running Move Electric, Haymarket's e-mobility title, where he developed knowledge of the e-bike and e-scooter markets. 

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CharlieBrown 10 July 2020

Andy Palmer

Andy Palmer is a very capable guy but running Aston Martin was just too much for him and I don't think JLR need the "Aston Martin failure is to run JLR" label 

marker 9 July 2020

Who's betting on next stop JLR ?

Could he be headed for JLR ? Ralph Speth leaves in a few months, they haven't said why he's leaving, where he's going and he has experience of both volume market growth and specialist brand building.

Or maybe longer odds - Andy Palmer ? Apart from the bungled flotation and a slight tendency for distracting side projects, he's got all the right credentials. Problem with AML, was they had a useless and weak Board who neither reined him in, nor offered him any support when he needed it.