Pischetsrieder restructures VW Group's sales department

Wolfsburg. Volkswagen AG CEO Bernd Pischetsrieder is reshuffling the group's senior sales executives and has brought in consultants to overhaul the group's management structures in an effort to revive sagging sales. The move follows the resignation in April of sales and marketing boss Robert Buechelhofer.

One of the people responsible for the co-ordination of the restructuring program is VW finance director Bruno Adelt, who will be working for the corporation until the end of 2003. Hans Dieter Poetsch is handling Adelt's former responsibilities within the controlling and financial sector. The former boss of Duerr AG will soon also take over responsibility for the key European market from Pischetsrieder.

Georg Flandorfer, who from October will be responsible for the Group's German sales department, will in future report to Poetsch. Flandorfer's position as sales and marketing director of Audi AG will be assumed by Ralph Weyler, who is joining from BMW.

In order to find more cost savings and efficiencies in its marketing VW has hired management consultant Roland Berger for two projects. One is to find the best possible use of resources and identify possible organization systems within the so called "opportunity markets" of China and Eastern Europe. The other assignment is to examine the efficiency of VW importers in comparison to VW's main rivals. "We will intensify the Group's internal performance comparisons," Adelt said.

In future a new central "product line responsibility" will give so called "super product managers" more influence on sales and marketing for new models. According to this new concept Horst Koenig for example will be responsible for the future Passat (code B6), which will be launched at the end of 2004. Consultants from McKinsey are still working on the last details for the new project organization program. It is already decided that the VW auto strategists, who are also called "heavy duty product managers" will in future not only be responsible for a model until the start of production but for their entire life cycle, including responsibility for model improvement measures and possible successors to the model.

Some top posts have not been filled yet. There is still no successor to Detlef Schmidt, who until March was Skoda's sales and marketing director. It is also not clear who will replace Daniel Coppens, who was responsible for sales and marketing for VW's commercial vehicles arm VW Nutzfahrzeuge (VWN).

For the time being VWN boss Bernd Wiedemann has taken over Coppens' responsibilities. Coppens will soon be taking on a new job within the VW Group.

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