Volkswagen Group strengthens sales activities in India

Volkswagen Group strengthens sales activities in India New Volkswagen
author image Rishi
Monday 08 June 2009, 00:00 AM

Maik Stephan new Managing Director of Group sales company ‘Volkswagen Group Sales Private Limited’ / Lutz Kothe new Volkswagen brand Chief General Manager Marketing and PR / Volkswagen Group Chief Representative Joerg Mueller: “Our new colleagues’ experience will drive forward expansion of the Volkswagen Group’s presence on the Indian growth market”

Mumbai / Wolfsburg, June 8, 2009 – The Volkswagen Group is expanding its presence on the Indian market and is therefore strengthening its sales activities. Maik Stephan becomes Managing Director of ‘Volkswagen Group Sales India Private Limited’, the Group’s sales company in India, with effect from June 1, 2009. In this function he reports to Joerg Mueller, Volkswagen Group Chief Representative India and President & Managing Director of ‘Volkswagen India Private Limited’. Also with effect from June 1, 2009, Lutz Kothe fills the vacant post of Chief General Manger Marketing and PR at the Volkswagen brand. In this capacity he reports to Neeraj Garg, Director Volkswagen Passenger Cars Division at ‘Volkswagen Group Sales India Private Limited’. These appointments were announced today (Monday) at a welcome ceremony in Mumbai attended by Volkswagen Group Sales employees.

In his welcome address, Joerg Mueller said: “Within the space of only a few years the Volkswagen Group has firmly established itself on the Indian market and recently took a decisive step towards further successful development in India when the production plant in Pune with a maximum annual capacity of 110,000 vehicles was opened. We are now intensifying our sales activities and preparing the ground for sustainable growth, in particular in the high-volume segments. I am therefore delighted we are being joined by Maik Stephan and Lutz Kothe, whose long-standing experience in the Volkswagen Group and sound expertise will drive forward the expansion of our presence here on the Indian growth market.”

Maik Stephan responsible for Volkswagen Group’s sales company in India

As Managing Director of ‘Volkswagen Group Sales Private Limited’, Maik Stephan is responsible for the sales activities of the Volkswagen Group on the Indian market where the Audi, Škoda and Volkswagen brands have a presence. He is in charge of drawing up and implementing all sales activities as well as setting the strategic orientation of the Group and the respective brands in the Indian market; his duties also include cross-brand activities such as business development or fleet business.

Commenting on his new post, Maik Stephan said: “Eight years into our commitment in India the three Volkswagen Group brands represented in this country are already offering 15 different models. No other automaker on the Indian market can lay claim to such a success story. We intend to systematically continue along this path with even greater momentum and to steadily expand our market share. To this end, we must strengthen all our sales activities, focusing in particular on the swift expansion of our dealer network.”

Having studied business management Maik Stephan began his career at international management consultant SCG St. Gallen Consulting Group. Four years later, in 1999, he moved to Volkswagen AG, where he was instrumental in setting up the internal management consultant ‘Volkswagen Consulting’ and later moved to strategic planning at the Volkswagen Group. Since 2004 he has been responsible for Group Area, Wholesale and Retail Development, part of the Group Sales & Marketing Divison which focuses on emerging markets and in particular on the development and control of the relevant sales companies such as the company in India, as well as the strategic orientation of the distribution sector including the optimization of sales systems and the development of innovative sales concepts.

Maik Stephan is aged 41 and is married with one daughter.

Lutz Kothe new Chief General Manager Marketing and PR

 Lutz Kothe is responsible for the further development and implementation of brand strategies as well as marketing and PR communications; he also takes charge of product planning and product marketing along with all sales control operations for the Volkswagen brand in India.

Talking about his new responsibilities, Kothe said: “Following the successful market launch of our Passat and Jetta models here in India plus the import models Phaeton and Touareg we now need to establish the Volkswagen brand even more strongly in the hearts and minds of Indian consumers. To do this, we will be expanding our marketing activities in a step-by-step strategic approach and initiating new and innovative actions. One of the most challenging tasks for my team and myself will be to systematically expand the Volkswagen brand in the context of our ambitious sales targets, and especially the upcoming launch of the Volkswagen Polo which will make its appearance on the Indian market at the beginning of next year.”

Lutz Kothe studied media science and spent a total of 16 years working for various advertising agencies including DDB Needham in Düsseldorf, Intevi in Cologne, and Springer & Jacoby in Hamburg, holding various senior management posts such as budget director and managing director. He moved to the Volkswagen Group in 1999, initially heading marketing communications at the Spanish subsidiary SEAT until 2004 and subsequently taking charge of marketing communications at Volkswagen AG in Wolfsburg until 2006, when he assumed responsibility for the sponsoring, cooperation projects, trade fairs and events department.

Lutz Kothe is aged 46 and is married with two children.

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