Daihatsu lures marketing director back after head quits for start-up

Car company Daihatsu has lured Paul Tunnicliffe back to the position of marketing director six years after he left.

Tunnicliffe replaces Frank Gamberini, who has quit to set up a marketing agency.

Since leaving Daihatsu, Tunnicliffe has been working as a consultant at specialist automotive agencies.

The move follows Inchape’s sale of Daihatsu’s UK distribution rights to International Motors (IM). Daihatsu was based in Dover, but it has now relocated to IM’s offices in the West Midlands. One of the main reasons for Gamberini’s departure was his reluctance to relocate to the area.

In April, Daihatsu appointed Birmingham-based Wallis Tomlinson and Feather Brooksbank to handle its advertising and media buying. The business was previously worth £5m, but this budget is expected to decrease under its new owner.

Wallis Tomlinson is expected to be issued with a brief to attract more mature drivers to the marque.

Daihatsu managing director Andrew Edminston says: “We know our key market comprises slightly older customers, who, after a lifetime’s motoring, know what they want from a car.”

According to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders, Daihatsu’s sales have dropped by more than 50 per cent year on year. This partly reflects a fall in the number of cars Inchape has imported into the UK.

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