Matt Schmidt has been appointed as the new general manager for Mini in Australia and New Zealand.

    He’ll start his new role on July 1, 2021.

    Mr Schmidt has been with BMW Group Australia for over 17 years, most recently serving in the role of National Sales Manager – Operations and Planning since January 2016.

    He’s previously worked for Mini in the role of brand communications manager.

    Schmidt succeeds Brett Waudby, who has been at the helm of Mini locally since April 2018.

    Waudby will become the head of the BMW brand’s retail network, overseeing sales operations.

    “Brett and Matt are two experienced leaders with considerable knowledge of the BMW Group brands,” said BMW Group Australia CEO Wolfgang Buechel.

    “They have brought important change and growth to both BMW and MINI and their expertise will be of great benefit to their new positions and their new teams.”

    Under Mr Waudby, Mini has rolled out its first plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicles in Australia and New Zealand: the Countryman Hybrid and the Mini Electric Hatch.

    The company also says both markets have achieved the highest sales share for its John Cooper Works models.

    Mini weathered a rough 2020 better than many other brands, posting a decline of 3.1 per cent.

    While that was a more significant decline than BMW, which fell by only 0.9 per cent, it was still quite modest in a year where brands like Alfa Romeo and Volkswagen posted double-digit declines.

    To the end of May 2021, sales are up by 39.0 per cent compared with the same time last year.

    That growth outpaces the likes of BMW (+18.9 per cent) and Mercedes-Benz (+29.1 per cent).

    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, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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