Skoda, the VW-owned Czech car maker, has appointed a new director and – for the first time – a dedicated marketer for the brand in the UK.
Rob Tracey took over as director of Skoda UK from Dermot Kelly this week and will oversee all aspects of the brand. Christopher Hawken has joined in the new position of marketing manager with responsibility for advertising.
Both men come from Skoda’s parent company Volkswagen Group. Tracey, in the position of finance director, helped set up Skoda UK in 1992 and has subsequently worked as head of dealer operations at Seat. Hawken worked at Rover as a graduate trainee before joining VW as regional fleet manager in 1994. Last year he was promoted to fleet marketing manager for VW cars.
Marketing has previously been the responsibility of the UK director, but Skoda says the growth of the brand and a greater focus on marketing meant that a dedicated position was required.
“Hawken’s biggest task will be to create greater desirability for Skoda, focusing primarily on developing the brand personality,” says a Skoda spokeswoman.
Skoda, once the butt of ridicule, has revamped its image since its acquisition by VW in 1991. The Skoda Octavia, launched in June, was well received by motoring critics and the company’s share of the UK market has grown slowly to about 0.81 per cent in September. It is now one of the fastest growing car brands in Europe.
Skoda spent about 5m on advertising up until June this year.