Volkswagen South Africa boss Schaefer takes over at Skoda in shake-up

Thomas Schaefer, who takes up the post with immediate effect, joined Volkswagen from Mercedes-Benz in 2012 and has since 2015 led Volkswagen Group South Africa.
By : Reuters
| Updated on: 04 Aug 2020, 11:39 AM
File photo: Schaefer replaces Bernhard Maier, who left the Czech firm last month after nearly five years. (Bloomberg)
File photo: Schaefer replaces Bernhard Maier, who left the Czech firm last month after nearly five years. (Bloomberg)
File photo: Schaefer replaces Bernhard Maier, who left the Czech firm last month after nearly five years. (Bloomberg)
File photo: Schaefer replaces Bernhard Maier, who left the Czech firm last month after nearly five years.

Volkswagen's Czech carmaker Skoda Auto named Volkswagen's South Africa boss Thomas Schaefer as its new chairman on Monday as part of a wider shake-up at the German autos group.

Schaefer replaces Bernhard Maier, who left the Czech firm last month after nearly five years during which he led the 125-year-old Skoda to record profits.

Skoda is the central European country's biggest exporter, but its success has sometimes caused friction within Volkswagen, whose labour boss has criticised it for cannibalising sales.

The Czech company delivered 1.24 million cars globally in 2019, with China and Germany as its top markets. Like other carmakers, Skoda is battling to get back from shutdowns due to the coronavirus crisis and now faces uncertainty over demand.

Similar Cars

Find More Cars
Volkswagen Polo (HT Auto photo)
Volkswagen Polo
999 cc | Petrol | Manual | 17.74 kmpl
₹5.83 - 10 Lakhs**Ex-showroom price
Skoda Rapid Tsi (HT Auto photo)
Skoda Rapid Tsi
999 cc | Petrol | Manual | 18.97 kmpl
₹7.79 - 13.49 Lakhs**Ex-showroom price
Volkswagen Vento (HT Auto photo)
Volkswagen Vento
999 cc | Petrol | Manual | 17.69 kmpl
₹10 - 14.1 Lakhs**Ex-showroom price
Skoda Slavia (HT Auto photo)
Skoda Slavia
999 to 1498 cc | Petrol | Manual
₹10 - 15 Lakhs**Ex-showroom price
Volkswagen Taigun (HT Auto photo)
Volkswagen Taigun
999 cc | Petrol | Manual | 18.1 kmpl
₹10.49 - 17.5 Lakhs**Ex-showroom price
Skoda Kushaq (HT Auto photo)
Skoda Kushaq
999 cc | Petrol | Manual | 17.88 kmpl
₹10.5 - 17.6 Lakhs**Ex-showroom price

(Also read: Skoda's first-half deliveries fall 31%, sees steady markets ahead)

However, it said last week it saw signs of recovery, after first-half deliveries crashed 31% and group Chief Executive Herbert Diess told Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) that Skoda - one of Volkswagen's 12 brands - needed to do more to compete with South Korean and French rivals.

Labour unions, traditionally strong at Skoda Auto, said it was unclear what Schaefer's appointment would mean for the direction of the Czech carmaker.

Schaefer, who takes up the post with immediate effect, joined Volkswagen from Mercedes-Benz in 2012 and has since 2015 led Volkswagen Group South Africa, which produces vehicles and engines mainly for export. It hit record output in 2019.

Schaefer also ran Volkswagen's broader African business and spearheaded the development of production hubs in countries including Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya.

First Published Date: 04 Aug 2020, 11:39 AM IST
Recommended For You
View All
NEXT ARTICLE BEGINS

Please provide your details to get Personalized Offers on

Choose city
+91 | Choose city
Choose city
Choose city
By clicking VIEW OFFERS you Agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy

Dear Name

Please verify your mobile number.

+91 | Choose city