Volkswagen Group has extended the contracts of three members of its management board. Those who received contract extensions were Audi chief executive Rupert Stadler, VW sales and marketing chief Christian Klingler and VW China head Jochem Heizmann.
According to German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Stadler and Klingler’s contracts were both extended by five years while Heizmann’s contract was extended by two years. Stadler has been the top man at Audi since 2007 after succeeding current VW Group CEO Martin Winterkorn.
Klingler has been the global head of sales and marketing at the group since 2010 while Heizmann has been leading VW China since 2011. Audi is aiming to overthrow BMW as the best-selling luxury brand in world with annual vehicle sales of 2 million vehicles by the end of the decade.
In 2013, Audi sold 1.58 million vehicles, just behind BMW (1.66 million vehicles) and ahead of Mercedes-Benz (1.46 million units). Audi, however, lags heavily in the United States, selling only 158,061 units in 2013, compared with 334,344 delivered by Mercedes and 309,280 sold by BMW.
The trend continues this year. In the first four months of 2014, Audi delivered 50,881 units in the US, while Mercedes and BMW sold 105,519 units and 97,579 vehicles, respectively. [source: automotive news europe - sub. required]