Volkswagen Group of America has tapped Vinay Shahani as vice president of marketing, recruiting the 39-year old engineer from Nissan North America, where he was marketing director for the Nissan brand. Shahani fills in the gap created by the exit of former VW marketing chief Timothy Mahoney, who is now serving as global chief marketing officer for Chevrolet.
Jonathan Browning, chief executive of Volkswagen Group of America, said in a statement that they welcome Shahani to the Volkswagen management team, remarking that the new marketing chief’s in-depth automotive experience, leadership skills and proven track record in comprehensive brand building “will be important assets” for the company.
In his new position, Shahani will have a role in VW’s Super Bowl ad that had been creating waves in the past few years. Shahani will also help devise marketing plan in the US for the seventh-generation Golf, which will arrive in America next spring.
The carmaker hopes to regain at least a portion of its waning momentum through the launch of the Golf car family, which includes the high-performance GTI, the diesel-fueled GTD and the Jetta SportWagen.
The brand's sales in the US have dropped this year, no thanks to an aging product line and intense competition brought by rival brands in the compact and mid-sized sedan segments as well as a lack of compelling SUV offerings. [source: Volkswagen]