Volkswagen Group Australia has appointed a new managing director – Karsten Seifert.
Mr Seifert will begin his new role in November, taking over from Volkswagen Group Australia’s chief financial officer Gabriele De Neidels, who has been acting MD for VW Group Australia for the past year.
Mr Seifert will be arriving in Australia from Hannover, Germany where he has been executive director of European and international sales for Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles since 2020.
Prior to his role in Hannover, Mr Seifert has worked in numerous leadership roles across the Group, and has worked for several of the Group’s brands including Volkswagen, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles and Audi.
Mr Seifert has previously been stationed in South Korea and has worked closely with Volkswagen’s South American and Indian divisions.
In a statement supplied to media, Mr Seifert says a big focus for the VW Group in Australia moving forward will be diversifying its electric vehicle portfolio in order to become a market leader – forecasting a greater ratio of EVs to ICE vehicle sales Down Under within five years.
“Volkswagen Group Australia has emerged from the critical supply issues of the past few years in a strong position to transform into a leading provider of battery electric vehicles (BEVs), while continuing to offer a conventional passenger and commercial model portfolio that is also unmatched,” Mr Seifert said.
“Audi and Cupra have BEVs in market today with more models scheduled; Volkswagen will have an array of BEV models in Australia by 2025 and Skoda at least two. In five years, VGA will be selling more BEVs than conventional vehicles.”
According to VFACTS industry sales data, the VW Group has sold 53,710 vehicles year to date as of 30 September 2023 across its five brands – Audi, Cupra, Skoda and Volkswagen.
Volkswagen outsells the rest of the Group with 31,843 vehicle sales. The VW Group’s best-selling vehicles this year as of September 30 are the Volkswagen Tiguan (5968 units), Volkswagen T-Cross (4523 units) and the Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace (3374).
MORE: Everything Volkswagen