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Audi and Volkswagen merging local operations

Audi and Volkswagen are merging their local operations, though there won't be any changes to the dealership network or leadership.

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William Stopford
William Stopford

Audi is coming home.

The luxury brand will join Volkswagen, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles and Skoda under the umbrella of national sales company Volkswagen Group Australia (VGA).

There’ll be no changes to how the dealer network operates but the company says it will combine resources behind the scenes.

“In a market where all auto brands are importers, no national sales company will have the breadth of offering nor the sheer product strength of VGA,” said VGA managing director Michael Bartsch.

He cited the massive scope of VGA’s product line-up from light cars such as the Skoda Fabia, up to the Audi R8 supercar.

The merger of local operations is subject to final approval by the Foreign Investment Review Board, as well as the parent companies in Germany.

Audi Australia was established in 1997, four years before VGA. However, it had remained separate.

VGA says Audi will retain its own distinct identity and remain the “technological spearhead” for the Group.

That includes being the brand to lead the push with all-electric vehicles.

Audi introduced its E-Tron locally last year, while the Volkswagen brand won’t introduce any until late 2023.

Local leadership remains unchanged. Bartsch will remain VGA’s managing director, a role he’s held since 2015, with Audi now part of his remit.

Paul Sansom will remain the head of Audi Australia, which he’s been in charge of since 2017, while Ryan Davies (Volkswagen Commercial) and Michael Irmer (Skoda) stay in their roles.

There’ll be one significant bricks-and-mortar change to VGA’s operations: a new national headquarters, located “in and around” Audi Australia’s South Dowling Street headquarters in the Sydney suburb of Zetland.

MORE: Audi news, reviews, comparisons and videos
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William Stopford
William Stopford

William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel (remember that?), briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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