VW picks Kantner to lead India sales
FRANKFURT -- Volkswagen Group has named Manfred Kantner the new head of passenger car sales for India and Far East at the group's namesake brand. VW brand is struggling in India after a two-year growth spurt ended in 2012.
Kantner starts Oct. 1, replacing Wolf-Stefan Specht, who started his new job as VW brand's head of sales for Europe this month, the company said in a statement.
Kantner, 48, was previously managing director in Germany for VW Group Spanish subsidiary Seat. Bernhard Bauer, 49, will succeed Kantner as head of Seat Germany effective Oct. 1.
According to data from Focus2Move, sales of the VW brand models in India fell to 60,405 cars last year from 66,860 in 2012, dropping it to 10th in the market behind Renault. Among other problems, VW does not have a sedan or SUV in the sub-4 meter category, one of the fastest growing segments in the market.
Kantner moved to Seat Germany in December 2011 following nearly two decades of holding high-level sales position at Fiat, including CEO of Fiat Group Automobiles Germany.
Specht, 45, has several years of experience managing the VW brand's sales in its core market, having served as head of sales for northern Europe in 2008 and central Europe sales boss in 2010 before being appointed head of sales for India and the Far East in March 2013.
Both Kantner and Specht will report to the VW Group board member for sales Christian Klingler.