Rolls-Royce picks former Infiniti, Audi exec to lead sales

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Rolls-Royce has named former Infiniti and Volkswagen Group executive Fintan Knight as its new director of sales and marketing. Knight, 42, has worked for premium automakers in Europe, Asia and Australia, including more than 15 years with Audi.

The experiences make him "uniquely positioned" to lead Rolls-Royce's sales and marketing team as it seeks to consolidate and grow a global footprint which has increased dramatically in recent years, CEO Torsten Mueller-Oetvoes said in a release.

Knight starts his new job on June 1, succeeding Jolyon Nash, who will pursue interests outside the company after five years as sales boss, the company said.

Knight started his automotive career with BMW in Australia.

Born in Ireland, Knight grew up in Australia and considers himself Australian. After earning a degree in economics from the University of Western Australia he worked for Rolls-Royce sister brand BMW in Melbourne, first in the motorcycle division and then with cars.

In 1995 he joined Audi in Germany, working on retail networks in Europe, South Africa and Southeast Asia. He later helped reorganize Audi's dealer network in Japan. In 2002 he returned to Germany to take over marketing responsibility for Audi’s first SUV, the Q7.

Two years later his role was enlarged to include sales, marketing, aftersales and financial responsibility for the Asian region, excluding China. His final Audi posting was a three-year stint as managing director of its Irish operations.

In 2011 he started in a newly created role of commercial director at VW Group supercar subsidiary Lamborghini, where he was responsible for all commercial aspects of the business.

Knight was named head of Infiniti’s European operations in May 2013 but left the company last month.

Knight is fan of motor racing and also has a passion for rugby and his classic 1960s Ducati motorcycle.

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