Volkswagen picks Schaller to run commercial division

Volkswagen has promoted Stephan Schaller to run its commercial vehicles division. He will replace Bernd Wiedemann, who retires at the end of this year after 35 years at Volkswagen.

Schaller, a former BMW executive, has been a member of the division’s board with responsibility for product manufacturing since 2004. He will take over as head of the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles (VCV) brand from January 1 next year.

VCV appointed Audi head of aftersales Ralph Schueler as its UK marketing chief at the end of last year. He replaced Nigel Brotherton, who joined Audi a year ago as head of UK marketing (MW September 15, 2005).

VCV has a £2m advertising budget in the UK. It started a three-part television advertising campaign last year featuring the strapline “Apparently, Volkswagen also make cars” (MW September 29, 2005). The activity was the first time VCV had advertised on TV for two years.

Brotherton worked on the campaign before he left to join Audi. He joined VCV from Volkswagen Passenger Cars, where he was customer relationship strategy manager.

VCV was formed when Volkswagen decided to build a separate distribution strategy for its commercial vehicles. It sells the vehicles either through its regional network of van centres or at locations it shares with passenger cars, where the commercial vehicles have their own dedicated showroom and sales staff.

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