Volkswagen has appointed a new head of European sales as the brand looks to implement an agency model across the continent.
The position has gone to Thomas Owsianski, who will replace VW’s current European boss Manfred Kantner, when he moves to be the brand’s head of product marketing.
The 56-year-old German will take on his new role from April 1 and is set to have a full in tray from the word go.
He will be responsible for overseeing the outfit’s switch to agency sales across Europe, after the model was adopted in the brand’s home market of Germany.
The role out was initially scheduled for last summer but was delayed until ‘at least 2024’ due to an issue with an ‘internal system’
Owsianski has also been tasked with improving sales the ID range of electric vehicles, amid dwindling sales.
Volkswagen has recently been forced to cancel shifts and lay off contract workers at its Zwickau plant, where both the ID3 and ID4 are built.
Automotive News Europe reports that the plant, which also builds the Audi Q4 E-tron and Cupra Born, is currently ‘barely working to capacity’.
The news outlet also says that production lines at VW’s Emden factory, which produces the ID4 and ID7, have ground to a halt several times recently.
Despite those difficulties, Owsianski will take over a brand, which remained at the very top of European sales charts last year, shifting 1.36m units in 2023.
The new boss has worked for VW Group since 2012 and has filled several posts in that time including jobs with both Skoda and Audi in China.
More recently he has been the Volkswagen’s head of sales and marketing in South America but will now vacate the position to take over in Europe.
He previously had stints at both Ford and General Motors in an automotive career stretching back decades.