Volkswagen Group Australia and Audi Australia to merge operations
February 1, 2021: Leading German prestige auto importer Audi Australia has today announced that it will join its affiliated brands in the national sales company Volkswagen Group Australia (VGA).
The merger is subject to final approval by the parent companies in Germany, and locally by the Foreign Investment Review Board. It unites Volkswagen, Audi, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles and the VW-owned Czech brand SKODA in a single Australian entity.
Audi Australia (established in 1997) and VGA (2001) have hitherto traded as separate NSCs. The companies, which shared functions such as IT and procurement, had for some time examined other areas for combining recourses culminating in the decision to merge as per practice in most markets where multiple Group brands are sold.
VGA Managing Director Michael Bartsch said that the combined Group would be a force in the Australian passenger vehicle market.
“Unification fortifies the position of these Group brands,” Mr Bartsch said. “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.
“From a SKODA Fabia city car all the way to Audi’s R8 supercar with every passenger car and SUV segment between and a dominant light commercial vehicle arm besides, Volkswagen Group Australia will be class-leading in all aspects of the automotive market in which it competes.”
Paul Sansom, Managing Director of Audi Australia, said that the merger would have clear benefits both for Audi and VGA.
“Audi Australia has enjoyed enormous success over the last 15 years and the consolidation of its place in the Volkswagen Group here begins the next exciting chapter,” Mr Sansom said.
“As a prestige brand, Audi has its own distinct identity in VGA and remains the Group’s technological spearhead. Vorsprung durch Technik means progress through technology and Audi is set to continue its rich history of innovation by taking a leading role in future mobility.”
Mr Bartsch affirmed: “Audi will be the brand that leads VGA’s push into electric vehicles.”
“As such, VGA will be positioned most advantageously to dominate what will in time become a common form of personal mobility,” Mr Bartsch said.
“Eventually each Group brand will have separate EV ranges that reflect the diversity and price positioning of their conventional showrooms. Yet, crucially, the brands retain their entirely distinct identities and customer sets.”
Senior leadership continuity is assured.
Michael Bartsch has been Managing Director of Volkswagen Group Australia since 2015. He leads the expanded Group.
Paul Sansom continues to lead Audi Australia, which he has successfully helmed since 2017.
Ryan Davies remains director of the light commercial market dominant Volkswagen Commercial vehicles, the role he assumed in January 2019.
Michael Irmer directs the growing SKODA brand, as he has since 2013.
Audi, Volkswagen and SKODA dealer networks will operate as per existing agreements with the brands.
Work is advanced on the new VGA national headquarters in and around Audi’s South Dowling Street premises in inner-Sydney Zetland.
For further information:
General Manager Corporate Communications
Volkswagen Group Australia
0434 755 158