The Volkswagen Group Australia will be under new leadership from the start of 2022.

    Michael Bartsch will be replaced as managing director by Paul Sansom, who is currently Audi Australia managing director and chairman of the Audi Foundation.

    Mr Bartsch will return to Volkswagen of America, having led Volkswagen Australia since 2015.

    He’s overseen the expansion of the Volkswagen Group to include Audi in Australia, significant growth from the Skoda brand, and was at the helm when Cupra was confirmed for our market.

    The Volkswagen Group umbrella now includes more than 180 dealers around Australia, split across the Volkswagen and Volkswagen Commercial, Skoda, and Audi brands.

    Cupra will join the stable in the middle of 2022. Bentley, Porsche, and Lamborghini are part of the Volkswagen Group globally, but are independently distributed in Australia.

    “Our collective growth over that period is a mark of the significant progress our brands have made in Australia, and I am pleased to leave the next leg of their successful journey in Paul’s very capable hands,” Mr Bartsch said in a statement.

    Paul Sansom has 20 years experience in the automotive industry, having started his career at Jaguar UK during 2001.

    “The now five brands of Volkswagen Group Australia all have their own unique identity, and cater for their own distinct customer groups,” Mr Sansom said.

    “The diversity of their expertise across the majority of market segments provides Volkswagen Group Australia with an unrivalled opportunity to appeal to more new and existing customers than any other competitor.”

    The executive shuffle at the Volkswagen Group will also see Michal Szaniecki take charge as the Volkswagen passenger brand director. Ryan Davies will continue at the helm of Volkswagen Commercial, Michael Irmer will remain in charge of Skoda, and Ben Wilks will be Cupra director at launch.

    MORE: Q&A with Michael Bartsch

    Scott Collie

    Scott Collie is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Scott studied journalism at RMIT University and, after a lifelong obsession with everything automotive, started covering the car industry shortly afterwards. He has a passion for travel, and is an avid Melbourne Demons supporter.

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