Simon Thomas will become the new head of global marketing for the Volkswagen Group as well as for the VW brand starting September 1, 2013. Thomas is replacing Juergen Stackmann, who was named as chief of VW's Spanish unit Seat in May 2013. In his new capacity, Thomas will help VW Group meet its Strategy 2018 goals, according to a spokesman.
One of the goals of the Strategy 2018 is have VW become the best-selling carmaker in the world, topping current No. 1 and 2, Toyota Motor Corp. and General Motors Co. The spokesman said Thomas’ new role will have him coordinate marketing activities with the marketing chiefs of VW Group's individual brands, like VW, Skoda and Seat, as well as Audi, Porsche, Bentley and Lamborghini.
Thomas will report to Christian Klingler, VW Group board member for sales and marketing. Thomas joined VW in 2011 from Nissan, where he was head of sales and marketing for Europe.
He started his automotive career as an apprentice technician in 1976 at a Ford dealership. He later joined Austin Rover Group, then Nissan UK.
VW Group posted a 5.5% increase in global sales in the first half of 2013 to a record 4.7 million units, thanks to strong demand in China and the United States, which helped offset slumping sales in Europe. The carmaker targets to hike its annual vehicle sales from 9.07 million units in 2012 to 10 million by 2018. [source: Vw]