BMW's head of purchasing looks set to replace Rupert Stadler

With current CEO Rupert Stadler stuck behind bars, Audi has turned to its Bavarian rival to fill the role.

According to Automobilwoche and Automotive News, the Volkswagen Group is hoping to install Markus Duesmann (above), previously BMW's head of purchasing, as Audi's new CEO from January 1, 2019.

If true, Duesmann will be the permanent replacement for Rupert Stadler, who is currently in jail. He was arrested in the middle of June by the Munich prosecutor's office over fears he was trying suppress evidence in the ongoing investigation into the Dieselgate emissions cheating scandal.

Audi replaced Stadler with Bram Schot, its head of sales, on an interim basis.

Overnight, the Volkswagen Group announced it will offer Duesmann a position on its management board, noting he "will take up his new position as soon as he is able to do so".

Reuters understands his contract with BMW was due to run until September 30, 2019, and contains a non-compete clause.

BMW has confirmed Duesmann had his contract terminated due to "personal reasons".

Prior to becoming BMW's purchasing chief, Duesmann was the company's head of engine development over two stints: first from 2007 to 2010, and then from late 2012 to 2016.

During his second time as powertrain chief, he served under Herbert Diess, who later moved to Volkswagen to be the CEO of its namesake brand. Diess was appointed as CEO of the entire Volkswagen Group CEO in April this year.