NEW YORK -- Volkswagen of America confirmed today it hired former Subaru marketing chief Tim J. Mahoney to become chief product and marketing officer.
He will report to Jonathan Browning, president and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America and president of the Volkswagen America brand, VW said today.
Mahoney, most recently chief marketing officer at Subaru of America, helped revive the Japanese brand in the U.S. market with ads featuring Australian actor Paul "Crocodile Dundee" Hogan.
VW said Mahoney will be responsible for aligning the strategic direction of the brand's product planning and promotional efforts in the U.S., where it hopes to more than double sales to 800,000 a year by the end of decade.
Rainer Michel, vice president of product marketing and strategy, and Tim Ellis, vice president of marketing for VW of America, will report to Mahoney, the automaker said.
"Tim brings a wealth of automotive experience in aligning future product plans with market needs and brand positioning," Browning said in a statement. "It's a strength that will serve us well as we build the product portfolio to reach our goals here in the U.S."
It is the second time Mahoney, 54, has left Subaru.
Mahoney returned to Subaru in 2006 after leaving the brand in 1999 to serve as vice president of marketing for Porsche Cars North America, where he launched the Cayenne, Porsche's first SUV.
He initially joined Subaru of America in 1984 as a marketing research analyst and worked his way up the corporate ladder.
Mahoney was part of the team that turned an ailing Subaru around in the mid-1990s by shifting all of the brand's vehicles to all-wheel drive in the United States and giving it more recognition with the ads featuring the rugged Hogan, famous for his starring role in the movie, "Crocodile Dundee."
In his second stint at Subaru, Mahoney spiced up Subaru's marketing and helped it set record sales. Subaru sold 263,820 vehicles in the United States in 2010, up 22 percent from the year before. It was on track to break that record this year until last month's earthquake and tsunami disaster in Japan. Company executives wouldn't discuss 2011 sales goals at the auto show this week saying there is still too much uncertainty.
Subaru's U.S. sales improved 17 percent during in the first quarter from a year earlier as the entire U.S. market rose 20 percent. Subaru is the only brand to increase U.S. sales in each of the past three years.