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Clive Warrilow Replaced by Audi Exec
Spotted this in the news. LAter-G
Audi rescuer to lead VW in America
Automaker won't say what led to shake-up of U.S. leadership
By Dale Jewett / The Detroit News
AUBURN HILLS -- Gerd Klauss, the German-born executive who has presided over
Audi's revival in the U.S. market, on Wednesday was named by Volkswagen AG
to lead VW's North American operations.
Klauss' promotion, effective by the end of the year, displaces Clive
Warrilow as president and chief executive of Volkswagen of America Inc.
Warrilow, 59, is expected to remain at Volkswagen, but his role has not been
announced. Volkswagen did not offer a reason for the management change.
Klauss, 53, joined Audi of America in 1992 after an 18-year career at
Daimler-Benz AG that included a 14-year stint at Mercedes-Benz of North
America. He arrived shortly after Audi's sales had bottomed out at 12,283
cars in 1991, from a peak of 74,061 in 1985. At the time, VW's luxury
division was wrestling with quality problems, changes in currency exchange
rates that boosted Audi prices in the United States and the controversy over
allegations of "unintended acceleration" in its cars.
With a strategy of repositioning Audi in the luxury market by cutting prices
and focusing on the make's traditional strengths such as its Quattro
all-wheel- drive system, Klauss ushered Audi's rebirth. Sales had climbed to
18,124 at the end of 1995, as Audi began to benefit from the introduction of
products, led by the hot-selling A4 sedan and last fall's introduction of
the A6 sedan.
Audi sales in 1997 totaled 34,160, nearly triple the 1991 low point.
Warrilow, 59, joined Volkswagen in 1963, serving as an accountant with
Volkswagen of South Africa. He rose to become a board member of the South
Africa operations in 1979 before being sent to head VW's Canadian
operations, then the U.S. unit.
"Warrilow is well-respected for his values, his focus on soft management and
a commitment to process orientation," VW said in a statement.