Robin Woolcock, head of Volkswagen UK, is taking on overall responsibility for VW Group’s brands, including Seat, Skoda and Audi. He replaces UK managing director Richard Ide, who is to retire.
Woolcock joined the group in January 1989 as head of the commercial vehicle business, which included MAN trucks. In 1991, he set up Skoda UK following VW’s purchase of the Czech company.
He will continue as head of VW UK with responsibility for the Volks-wagen marque until a successor is appointed. In his new position, Woolcock will be the most senior executive at VW in the UK.
Ide retires at the end of the year after 11 years as managing director. He oversaw the acquisition of the VW Audi franchise from Lonrho and separated the VW and Audi businesses in the UK in 1994. A year later, he incorporated the Skoda and Seat brands into the UK group.
VW moved its £80m UK media planning and buying account out of BBJ in the UK in August and into Mediacom TMB after a market-by-market review across Europe (MW August 12).
VW group chief executive Ferdinand Piech is aiming to steer the VW brand upmarket and recently launched a new version of the VW Beetle.
VW Group has an 18 per cent share of the European car market.