Bentley Motors has appointed the head of Volkswagen’s North American operations, Len Hunt, as global sales and marketing director.
Hunt will join the company on November 1, and will report to chairman and chief executive Dr Franz-Josef Paefgen. He replaces Adrian Hallmark, who goes in the other direction to head Volkswagen in North America.
Bentley has also given marketing director Mark Tennant responsibility for public relations as part of the reshuffle. He will report to Hunt for marketing and Paefgen for PR in his new role of PR and marketing director.
Paefgen says/ “Hunt’s extensive experience of our two largest markets and luxury brands will be invaluable.”
Sources say Hallmark has been promoted to boost profits at Volkswagen’s struggling US operation. Volkswagen chief executive Bernd Pischetsrieder said in July that he no longer expects the company to break even in North America next year.
Volkswagen has been struggling to sell its new Jetta model in the US this year, with some experts claiming it did not spend heavily enough on advertising.
Bentley is reviving the Azure, which ceased production in 2003, as a four-seater convertible. The flagship model of the range goes on sale in spring next year.
Bentley’s UK sales were down 32 per cent in August this year, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. However, its 2005 sales were up 11 per cent on last year at 1,352 to the end of August.