Volkswagen AG made an "intelligent move" to reduce complexity in its sales and marketing operations as part of its bid to pass Toyota Motor Corp. as the global No. 1 automaker, analysts and industry insiders say.
VW is strengthening coordination between the group's national sales companies and its wide array of brands with the recruitment of former top General Motors Co. sales executive Jonathan Browning and the promotion of ex-Fiat marketing star Luca De Meo.
Better coordination of sales and marketing for the German automaker's 10 brands, which include the upscale Audi, Bentley and Porsche marques as well as the mass-market VW, Skoda and Seat brands, is crucial to help VW group achieve its goal of becoming the world's largest automaker by 2018 with global sales of more than 10 million units a year.
“VW has made an intelligent move, as investors were asking how the company would run the increasing complexity in its global business,” said Max Warburton, senior analyst at Bernstein Research in London.
Stefano Aversa, a managing partner at consultancy Alix Partners, said Browning, who was head of GM's global sales and marketing until last summer, knows how to deal with the challenges that a giant automaker faces.
“Browning has a great experience in working in complex organizations and this will help him in the effort to achieve greater alignment in sales and product allocation across the different brands and national sales companies,” Aversa said.
Browning set up an "excellent" financial controlling system while at GM Europe and the experience could help VW streamline the group's distribution costs, a former car company executive familiar with the matter told Automotive News Europe on condition of anonymity.