Enhancing dealer relations and keeping US profits up are some of what Jonathan Browning, the new head of Volkswagen AG's US unit, promises to accomplish. He also plans for American consumers to get reconnected to the brand, which is famous for producing the Microbus and Beetle. Browning’s appointment takes effect on Oct. 1.
Browning, formerly an executive of General Motors and Ford Motor, started working for VW last June. When he takes over, he will be the fourth chief of VW of America. He replaces Stefan Jacoby, who departed two and a half months ago to head Volvo Cars.
In particular, Browning said that he would be focused initially on: successfully launching the redesigned Jetta; improving customer satisfaction, dealer relations and its certified used-vehicle program; and producing sustained profits in the US market over time.
At a news conference in Washington, Browning said that he is aiming for VW to become an “essential part of the US automotive landscape." He said that his tasks include creating “an emotional connection with the US consumer."
Last June, VW hired Browning to improve coordination of its international sales companies. At GM, Browning had functioned as vice president of global sales, service and marketing.
Browning’s appointment is timed with the final phase of the introduction of a new Jetta compact, VW bestseller in the US. VW is currently preparing to open a factory in Tennessee to assemble the new mid-size sedan, its first car made solely for the US market. [via autonews - sub. required]