Stuttgart. After more than fifteen years as Head of the Design Department at Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG in Stuttgart, Harm Lagaay is retiring on July 1st, 2004. The company’s Board of Management has appointed Michael Mauer, Chief Designer of Saab und Advanced Concept Center General Motors Europe, as his successor. Mauer will take up his new position at the Research and Development Center in Weissach not later than November 1st, 2004.
“Porsche owes a lot to Harm Lagaay. His design philosophy and skill have made a major contribution to the high standing of the 911, Boxster and Cayenne on all world markets and therefore to the success of the company as a whole. He is entitled to be proud of his work.” In these terms the President and Chief Executive of Porsche AG, Dr. Wendelin Wiedeking, paid tribute to Lagaay, who was born in The Hague, Netherlands, on December 28th, 1946.
Harm Lagaay’s professional career began in 1967 at the Olyslager company in Soest, Netherlands. A year later he was engaged by car manufacturer Simca. His first contact with Porsche came in 1971. During the following six years in the Design Department in Weissach, he worked on the 924 and 911 models in particular. In 1977 he moved to Ford in Cologne as Design Manager, where his Advanced Design department worked on the Escort, Sierra and Scorpio. A further step forward in his career followed in 1985, when he became Chief Designer at BMW Technik GmbH in Munich and played a leading part in the development of the Z1. Since 1989 Lagaay has headed the main “Style Porsche” department in Weissach, which has responsibility for the design of all Porsche models and also for development work undertaken on behalf of outside clients.
Under his leadership both the design study and the final Boxster model took shape; this car was launched in the fall of 1996 and stimulated a commercial turnaround for Porsche after several difficult years of crisis. The 996-series Porsche 911 and the Cayenne are also products of his pen. Lagaay’s career at Porsche culminated with the Carrera GT high-performance sports car, the design of which has been awarded numerous international prizes.
Michael Mauer was born on July 28th, 1962 in the German town of Rotenburg/Fulda, but grew up in Höchenschwand, in the Black Forest. He studied automobile design from 1982 to 1986 at the Polytechnic in Pforzheim, and from there secured his first job in the Design area of Mercedes-Benz AG in Sindelfingen. In 1989 he was appointed Design Project Leader for the Mercedes V Class models, and two years later was in charge of design work for the first SLK model generation. In July 1995 the company appointed him Head of Department and entrusted him with design responsibility for it’s A-Class, SLK and SL models.
In 1998 Michael Mauer moved to the Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design Studio in Tokyo as General Manager, and was intensively involved in advanced development work on various model lines. A year later, he was put in charge of Design at MCC Smart GmbH. In June 2000 he went to the Swedish Saab company as Executive Director Design, and since March 2003 he has also been responsible for Advanced Design at General Motors Europe.
Wolfgang Dürheimer, Board Member for Research and Development: “Michael Mauer enjoys a high reputation in the automobile industry. He will not only continue Harm Lagaay’s successful work but will also impart new, forward-looking stimuli to design at Porsche. I look forward to welcoming him to our team.”
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