ATLANTA -- Porsche Cars North America is bringing in Joe Lawrence, CEO of Canadian operations, to be its No. 2 executive in the United States, the company's largest market.
Lawrence, 44, will succeed COO Michael Bartsch, 54, who is leaving to become CEO of Porsche Cars Australia. The changes are effective Sept. 1.
"With Joe, we'll get a professional who has honed his skills and delivered impressive results in a significant growth market," Detlev von Platen, CEO of Porsche Cars North America, said in a statement.
Lawrence, an American, became CEO in Canada in 2009. The country's sales volume has nearly doubled to more than 3,000 units since then. Earlier, he worked for BMW and Nissan. He got his start in the industry selling cars at a dealership.
For Bartsch, COO since 2005, the appointment marks a return to his home country of Australia. He oversaw a U.S. sales surge -- Porsche set a sales record of 35,043 units in 2012 -- and streamlined the dealer network. Sales per dealership and dealership profitability improved significantly during his tenure.