Scott Keogh Takes Over Top Spot at VW USA from Woebcken

Audi of America head, Scott Keogh is being promoted to president and CEO of the Volkswagen Group of America. He replaces Hinrich Woebcken, who will stay with the company as an advisor.

Keogh joined Audi in 2006 as chief marketing officer. In that position, he led a remarkable turnaround in market awareness and brand strength and that saw the R8 become Iron Man’s car.

In 2012, Keogh took over as president of Audi of America. In that time, Audi went on a record streak of growth, setting personal sales records every month for more than 90 months. That streak was not affected by Dieselgate and continues to this day.

Woebcken, though, has not been without successes of his own at VW. He was the first choice to lead the newly minted North American Region after Dieselgate and oversaw the market introduction of the new Atlas and Tiguan. Both cars have been sales successes and have played no small part in buoying the company’s sales figures after the disappearance of VW’s popular TDI cars and the market-wide slump in sedans and hatchbacks.

“Hinrich J. Woebcken has brought the Volkswagen brand back on track for success in the U.S. and the North American region,” said Dr. Herbert Diess, CEO of Volkswagen AG. “Considering the challenging conditions, these achievements deserve my dedicated recognition.”

Diess’s own position within the company may bear some significance here. The CEO recently took over from the not unsuccessful Matthias Mueller. Despite righting the ship after Dieselgate and creating Strategy 2025 (the strategy which sees VW aggressively pursuing mass market EV superiority), Mueller failed to sell off VW’s unnecessary assets and simplify the enormous empire. That is widely seen as the reason for his replacement.

Similarly, despite Woebcken’s successes, VW still occupies a tenuous position in America and signs of accelerating sales are few and far between.

“After the successful comeback of the Volkswagen brand, Scott Keogh, who led Audi to excellence in the U.S., will build upon the momentum and implement the next stage in the growth strategy as we continue to develop Volkswagen into a more relevant player in North America,“ said Diess.

After Keogh leaves Audi on November 1, he will be replaced by Mark Del Rosso. Del Rosso is Audi’s former COO and current CEO of Bentley USA. He will join Audi on December 1. No successor has been named at Bentley.

The decision follows last week’s announcement that VW’s Chief Engineering Officer, Mattias Erb, was headed back to Wolfsburg to be replaced by Wolfgang Demmelbauer-Ebner