Looks like things aren’t going quite as planned over at Audi. The German carmaker’s head of engine development, Stefan Knirsch, has confirmed that he will leave his position. The company issued an official statement on Tuesday, stating that Knirsch was leaving on his own accord – the company did not specify where Knirsch was headed to following his departure.

Prior to leading the charge at Audi, Knirsch was in charge of quality management and engine development at Porsche. His departure has been viewed by many as a significant blow to Audi – the brand is in the midst of expanding its technological know-how in electric vehicles (EVs) and autonomous driving.

While the marque still holds a lead over Mercedes-Benz in terms of sales, its lead is rapidly shrinking – a notion further made concrete with Mercedes-Benz selling 729,000 from January to May 2015. In comparison, Audi sold a total of 745,000 in the same period.

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