Stefan Jacoby, the new CEO of Volkswagen of America, has solidified his control of Volkswagen brand operations, replacing Adrian Hallmark as chief of the VW brand.
Hallmark, 45, will move to parent Volkswagen AG headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany, to take charge of VW sales and marketing in the Asia-Pacific region. That leaves Jacoby, 49, firmly in charge of U.S. turnaround efforts.
Since taking over as head of VWoA in July, Jacoby has decided to move VW and Audi's U.S. headquarters to Virginia from suburban Detroit, enabling him to slash employees and costs and decide who would stay. The move will be completed by the end of 2008. He has also said he wants the VW brand to sell 800,000 units in the United States by 2018. It sold 235,140 units in 2006.
Top German management has expressed frustration at VW's lack of growth in the United States, expecting sales increases similar to worldwide advances. VWoA lost about $867 million here in 2006.
Insiders say Germany had continued to fail to grasp the need to include certain features in cars for American buyers, such as easy-to-use air conditioning and heating controls. Hallmark had pushed hard for a new generation of VW cars that would fit the U.S. market better, but it's unclear what now happens to those plans.
VWoA also named:
- Michael Lohscheller, 38, as CFO. He will report to Jacoby. Jacoby has held the CFO post on an interim basis. Lohscheller transfers from corporate parent Volkswagen AG, where he was director of group marketing and sales planning.
- Falk Beil, 54, as executive vice president of service and quality. Beil, who reports directly to Jacoby, has held several jobs since joining Volkswagen AG in 1988. Beil replaces Stefan Schueller, who returns to Audi in Ingolstadt, Germany.
- Mark Barnes, 48, as vice president for customer service. Barnes has held management positions at Chrysler, Hyundai and Nissan. He replaces Gary Temple, who left the company.
- M. Toscan Bennett, 44, as vice president of product marketing and strategy. He replaces David Goggins, formerly director of product and marketing strategy. Bennett has brand management experience at Ferrari, Chrysler and Mitsubishi. Goggins will return to Bentley Motors headquarters in Crewe, England, to lead global communications.