Mercedes-Benz lures Audi chief

Audi’s UK chief Dermot Kelly has been lured by rival luxury car brand Mercedes-Benz after less than six months in the role.

Kelly is to become the board-level director of passenger cars at Mercedes’ UK operation, overseeing sales and marketing.

He will report to Mercedes UK managing director Paul Halata and will have ultimate responsibility for Mercedes’ 10m UK advertising budget. Simon Oldfield, general manager of passenger car marketing, oversees the account day to day.

Mercedes-Benz is at a critical phase. Its parent company Daimler-Benz recently merged with US giant Chrysler to form DaimlerChrysler. The brand has also started to expand out of its executive stronghold into new parts of the market, with the small-scale A-series and a new off-road vehicle.

Kelly has run the UK arm of Volkswagen’s executive brand Audi since January. He hired marketing director Rawden Glover from National Lottery operator Camelot. Kelly switched to Audi after helping to set up VW-owned Skoda’s UK operation as chief executive. Before that, he was with Ford and Iveco Ford.

Mercedes’ former UK director of passenger cars, Walter Greaves, leaves in July after nine years with the company.

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