BrandArena: Volkswagen confirms appointment of new North America brand head

Thursday 21 January 2016

Volkswagen confirms appointment of new North America brand head

Volkswagen hired a former BMW executive to help right its North American business, which has been reeling since the Dieselgate scandal came to light.

Hinrich Woebcken, a former BMW executive, was tapped to be chairman of the German automaker’s businesses in North America, Mexico and Canada, as well as head of VW’s passenger car division in the region.

Mr. Woebcken, 55, was board member and chief executive for commercial vehicle systems at Knorr Bremse, a Munich company that is the largest supplier of braking systems for railroads, trucks and commercial vehicles.

He worked from 2004 to 2014 at VW’s Munich-based rival BMW as a senior manager for the group’s driving systems before joining Knorr. His appointment was first reported by Manager Magazine, a German business weekly.

In a statement, VW said Michael Horn, the president and chief executive of Volkswagen Group of America, would continue in his role.

As chairman, Mr. Woebcken will have formal supervisory responsibility over the businesses Mr. Horn runs in North America and Mexico.

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