In a bid to boost sagging sales, German car maker Volkswagen AG (VW) has roped in Arvind Saxena as the managing director for its passenger car division.
Saxena, formerly the head of sales and marketing at Korean automobile major Hyundai Motor India, succeeds Neeraj Garg, director and member of board (passenger car division). Garg was promoted and offered a role in VW’s China operations but is understood to have declined the offer.
VW has created the new position of managing director for Saxena, who would be responsible for the company’s sales, after sales and marketing.
Saxena had joined Hyundai as vice-president (sales & marketing) in November 2005. He became a director and a board member in 2009. A graduate in mechanical engineering from the Moti Lal Nehru Regional Engineering College, Allahabad, and an MBA from the University of Lucknow, Saxena has been in the automobile industry in various roles for over 29 years. He has worked at Maruti Suzuki, Bajaj Auto and Fiat India.
The appointment comes at a time when Volkswagen’s sales have declined by 16.75 per cent to 20,896 units between April and July this financial year. Production of the company has also fallen by 31 per cent to 23,104 units in the period. The slowing sales numbers have raised questions on the Volkswagen’s Group’s target to corner a 10 per cent share in the Indian market by 2018.
While the group’s other brands, Audi and Skoda, have posted robust growth numbers with volumes increasing by 45 per cent and 26 per cent, respectively, till July this fiscal, VW’s market share has slipped to 2.4 per cent (from 3.2 per cent in the year-ago period). The new chief executive, Gerry Dorizas, is believed to be looking aggressively at getting sales back on track for the company. VW sells small car Polo, sedans Vento, Jetta and Passat, and luxury vehicles Beetle and Phaeton in the country.