Volkswagen AG's Seat division has appointed former Toyota and PSA/Peugeot-Citroen executive Thibault Champenois to the newly created post of sales network development director in CEO James Muir's latest shakeup of sales and marketing at the troubled Spanish brand.
Champenois, 43, will start the job on May 1, reporting to Muir, who has also been Seat's acting head of sales since Jan-Henrik Lafrentz moved from the role on April 1 to become board member for finance at VW's Bentley unit.
Seat's new-car sales fell 8.6 percent to 336,600 in 2009 when its home Spanish market went into a deep economic slump. In the first quarter of this year, the brand profited from the recovery of the Spain's passenger car market with sales rising nearly 55 percent to 91,000.
Champenois, a French native, joins Seat after working at Toyota Europe, where he had been responsible for developing Japanese automaker's European dealership network over the past four years. Prior to that he held several management positions in PSA's sales division.
New bosses in France, Italy
Seat also named two French-born executives to head the brand's French and Italian operations.
Marc de Laitre, 43. formerly Ford Motor Co.'s national sales manager in France, is the new director of Seat in France.
New Seat Italy director is Louis-Carl Vignon, also 43. Vignon previously worked for General Motors Co. in positions including GM's sales and marketing director in Italy, operations director for GM in southern Europe and dealership development director for Saab France.
De Laitre and Vignon will report to another Frenchman, Paul Sevin, Seat's new group sales director. Sevin, 58, was appointed to that newly created position on April 19 from Peugeot, where he was global marketing and commercial strategy manager.