German car maker Volkswagen has appointed Gerasimos Dorizas the chief representative of the Volkswagen Group in India, replacing John Chacko, set to assume a role in Audi AG.
Dorizas,52, who was the managing director of Volkswagen Group Sales India, will assume the new role from March 1, Volkswagen said.
Dorizas takes charge of the company at a time when the German car brand is facing rough weather in the country, with sales plummeting 16 per cent during the April-January period to 53,149 units and no clear plans for model launches.
Mahesh Kodumudi, 47, has been appointed president and managing director of Volkswagen India from March 1, and will be responsible for the production in Pune.
With a strong sales background, Dorizas joined the Volkswagen Group in 2007 after starting his career in sales with Nixdorf in Greece in 1987, and later getting transferred to the automobile industry in 1992.
Dorizas held responsible positions in the sales organisations of a number of different manufacturers for several years. In 2007, he was appointed executive vice president for sales and marketing of the Volkswagen Group Japan. From 2008, he was President and CEO of
Volkswagen Group Japan, before joining Volkswagen Group Sales India as Managing Director in 2012.
Kodumudi completed an engineering degree in India and the US. Following a career in the automotive components industry, Kodumudi joined the Volkswagen Group in 2008 and was appointed Executive Director, Purchasing of Volkswagen India.
Dr. John Chacko, 60, previously President, Managing Director and Group Chief Representative of Volkswagen India, is transferring to a responsible position with AUDI AG with effect from April 1. He has worked for the Volkswagen Group since 1979.
Chacko, who holds a degree in aeronautical engineering, held various management positions at Volkswagen, Audi and SEAT before becoming Technical Project Manager for India with Volkswagen in Wolfsburg in 2006. In 2008, he became Technical Managing Director of Volkswagen India. He was appointed President, Managing Director and Group Chief Representative for India in 2010.
Volkswagen, which entered India in 2007, has positioned itself as a premium brand in the country. The company is presently struggling with retail demand and is thus forced to offer discounts and consumer benefit offers to entice consumers.
Decisions regarding the second phase of expansion in India is in a limbo due to the unfavourable changes made in the investment policy by the Maharashtra government. Further the company is now focussing on other important markets like China, where it is the market leader, thus reducing its attention in India.