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    Audi News Blog

    Volkswagen Group of America To Name Jonathan Browning as CEO. How Will This Effect Audi?

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    With the Monday news cycle officially begun, the Volkswagen Group of America has released a media advisory confirming it will name a new CEO at the National Press Club in Washington, DC Monday morning at 11 AM.

    HERNDON, VA - Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (VWGoA) will announce the

    appointment of its new chief executive officer.

    The National Press Club
    The First Amendment Room, 13th Floor
    529 14th St. NW,
    Washington, D.C.

    Monday, September 13 at 11:00 am ET

    Michael Lohscheller, Interim-CEO, VWGoA
    Christian Klingler, Volkswagen AG Board Member
    New Volkswagen Group of America CEO
    Rumors already circulating online including a source from the Wall Street Journal (linked below) suggest the position will be filled by former GM and Ford executive Jonathan Browning. Browning, who joined Volkswagen in June, currently manages Wolfsburg's national sales companies worldwide.

    So What Do We Think?
    Our biggest concern here is obviously how this effects Audi. Travelling with Mr. de Nysschen last month to Munich for the A7 reveal we chatted a bit about the state of flux of the Volkswagen executive decision. At the time he inferred that he would likely not consider a Len Hunt like migration from the helm of the premium Audi brand to the higher volume Volkswagen position but more interesting was an article in the then-current German language Manager Magazine suggested Peter Schwarzenbauer of the Audi AG board was being considered for a position that merged the responsibilities of the now-exited Jacoby and de Nysschen's own post.

    Sources inside Audi suggest the Schwarzenbauer story was both premature and erroneous but it is important to recognize though that Stephan Jacoby who left his post as President of Volkswagen of America for the top spot at Volvo in Sweden was not the CEO of Volkswagen Group of America but rather solely the Volkswagen brand and that the new executive to be named will not be replacing it directly.

    If we had to take a guess then we're hoping that the Audi of America President position is still in play and that Mr. de Nysschen will remain there. Unlike Schwarzenbauer, Browning is still relatively new to Volkswagen and has little experience with the Audi business. At the same time, de Nysschen has helped engineer a resurgence of the Audi brand that has it on track to break all previous American sales records.

    During de Nysschen's tenure at Audi of America, the South African-born executive has helped steer the brand to its current sales pace, most importantly, doing so at a profit through careful management of the new car business, certified pre-owned business, controlling residual values and the improvement of customer service and the dealer chain. Given the track record, there is every reason in the world for Johan de Nysschen to remain at Audi of America and we plan to further investigate this with a call to Audi's Herndon headquarters Monday.

    More on This Story - Wall Street Journal


    1. George@Fourtitude's Avatar
      Correction, our colleagues at the Volkswagen website have pointed out to us that Jacoby's position was CEO of the Volkswagen Group of America. Our hope is this means no changes for Audi or for de Nysschen.