MUNICH -- Mazda Motor Europe's new vice president of sales will try to turn around the Japanese automaker's sagging European sales.
Martin Benders, 58, joins the company after stints in Japan and his native Australia, where he was instrumental in making Mazda Australia one of automaker's strongest national sales organizations, the company said in a statement.
Mazda's European passenger-car registrations declined 13.5 percent to 211,100 units in 2009; it was down 9.4 percent to 70,043 units after four months this year. Even more troubling is that Mazda's European market share has shrunk to 1.4 percent from 1.7 percent in the last 19 months, according to data from industry association ACEA.
Benders relocated to Mazda's European home office in Leverkusen, Germany, from the company's headquarters in Hiroshima, Japan, where he was general manager of the global marketing division for more than three and a half years. Before that, Benders, who joined Mazda in 1985, worked his way up from administration manager to national marketing director at Mazda Australia, a job he held from 1998 until moving to Japan in September 2007.
Benders started his new job May 25. He will report to Mazda Europe Chief Operating Officer Philip Waring, who has been COO since January 2009 but head of the company's European sales since July 2005.
“I am delighted to have Martin Benders onboard as our new vice president for sales,” Waring said in a statement. “He has a well-deserved reputation in the motor industry for developing and implementing sales and marketing strategies that deliver outstanding results. He possesses the ability and experience to do an outstanding job managing our national sales company organization on a daily basis, and I am confident that he will be successful at maximizing our sales performance.”
Benders has bachelor's and post-graduate degrees in commerce from the University of Queensland (Brisbane). He is fluent in English and Dutch.