Audi's Australian MD is being sent to run the English business

Andrew Doyle. Photo: D. Shipp

Audi Australia’s managing director Andrew Doyle will return to the region where he built his reputation next year as director of Audi UK.

Doyle joined the German car company in 2005 as head of sales after 13 years with BMW. After five years as head of sales in Australia, he left for Ireland in 2010 and spent 2½ years as Audi’s brand director there before returning to Australia in 2013, becoming the first Australian-born head of the local business. He’ll step down as MD at the end of March 2017 for the new UK role.

Cian O’Brien, an Irishman, and director of sales for Audi UK, will take over as Australian MD in April next year.

The changes come at an interesting time for the brand and its parent company, Volkswagen Group Australia (VWGA), grapple with the fallout from a global emissions scandal.

In October last year, VWGA confirmed around 90,000 diesel VWs, Skodas and Audis sold in Australia were fitted with software that masked the true emissions levels on the vehicles. The admission led to 14,028 Audis, built between 2009 to 2015, being recalled.

The deception occurred as Audi Australia posted its 11th consecutive year of growth in 2015, with a 20% jump in sales to more than 23,000 units. Doyle is hoping for growth of 7% this year.

“I’m sad to be leaving such a strong team and retail network in Australia after what feels like a very brief four years at the helm,” he said.

“I’m also extremely excited to take on another new challenge within our great brand, leading Audi’s fourth largest world market – the United Kingdom. It’s a really fantastic opportunity for me.”

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