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Breaking News! Personnel adjustment of Volkswagen China

2024-07-18 Update From: AutoBeta autobeta NAV: AutoBeta > News >


AutoBeta( Report--

The news of the change of vice president of public relations of Volkswagen Group (China) (hereinafter referred to as "Volkswagen China") has finally been settled. On November 13, Volkswagen China announced that Zhang Wei would succeed Peng Fili, who is about to retire, as head of public relations and communications. She will join Volkswagen China on November 20, 2023 as vice president in charge of public relations and communications.


In early October, it was reported that Peng Fili, vice president of Volkswagen China and head of the department of public relations and corporate social responsibility, would leave by the end of the year at the latest. "Peng Fili retired normally," Volkswagen told the media. At that time, the media pointed out that since Berrard, chairman and CEO of Volkswagen China, took office in August last year, he had been looking for a successor to Peng Feili's post through headhunting and various channels.

According to the data, Zhang Wei graduated from the School of Journalism at Fudan University in Shanghai, worked in journalism after graduation, and joined GM China in 2002 as a senior public relations manager until 2010. Since then, he has served as the head of public relations in McDonald's China, Goodyear Tire Asia Pacific and Starbucks China. Prior to joining Volkswagen China, he served as Vice President of Corporate Public Relations and Corporate Social responsibility in Adidas.

As for Peng Feili, she graduated from Civil Aviation University of China with an English major and a master's degree in business administration from Hull University in the UK. Prior to joining Volkswagen China, Peng Fili accumulated more than 12 years of senior management experience in the field of public relations in China, working for a number of multinational companies, including Bosch (China) Investment Co., Ltd. And Michelin Asia Pacific Branch. In November 2012, Volkswagen China announced the appointment of Peng Fili as vice president of Volkswagen China to succeed Yang Meihong in charge of public relations and communications. Volkswagen has also become the longest-serving company in his career.


Since taking office in 2012, the then president and CEO of Volkswagen China, Heizman, has made a series of personnel changes in order to promote the "2018 Strategy", and the Chinese market plays a key role in achieving this goal. At that time, as soon as Peng Feili took office, she experienced a large-scale recall of Volkswagen's seven-speed DSG gearbox in the Chinese market, and also caught up with negative events such as Volkswagen's exhaust gates. Peng Feili's first meeting with the public was in a television interview after Volkswagen announced that a large number of vehicles had been recalled due to DSG problems, when the Volkswagen DSG incident had lasted for more than a year.


Volkswagen fell into a low ebb of public opinion in China after the March 15 CCTV evening revealed that Volkswagen DSG transmission had hidden dangers, Volkswagen announced a recall of 380000 models with hidden dangers in China, which is also the largest recall of automobile products in the Chinese market. Yang Meihong, then vice president of public relations and communication affairs of Volkswagen, left Volkswagen soon after because Volkswagen was not satisfied with the handling of the DSG incident, and Peng Fili took over the position. In response to hidden safety problems in the DSG transmission of Optical Volkswagen, Volkswagen China subsequently said through Weibo that it had submitted a recall application to the AQSIQ. Peng Fili, vice president of public relations of Volkswagen China, said in an interview with the media: "DSG can solve the problem caused by this flaw through the improvement of existing technology."

In addition to the above events, Peng Fili's tenure as vice president of public relations at Volkswagen China coincided with a severe moment when Volkswagen's business in China was in decline. Data show that Volkswagen's global new car sales in 2022 were 8.2826 million, down 7.0% from a year earlier, and was once again overtaken by Toyota to an 11-year low. Of these, Volkswagen delivered 3.1845 million new cars in the Chinese market, down 3.6 per cent from a year earlier.


In the first half of this year, Volkswagen delivered 1.4519 million new cars in the Chinese market, down 1.2% from a year earlier, making it the only single market in the world where Volkswagen sales declined. The industry believes that under the dual pressure of electrified transformation and global market competition, Volkswagen can only speed up the pace of electrified transformation to reduce the possibility of falling behind. According to the plan, Volkswagen Group's brands, including Volkswagen and Audi, will offer more than 30 pure electric models in China by 2030.


At present, Volkswagen is in a critical period of electric transformation, and is trying to reverse the decline in sales. Obviously, both the product level and personnel level continue to make all-round changes in Volkswagen China. "Automotive Industry concern" believes that personnel changes are often accompanied by huge adjustments at the brand level. What kind of innovation will occur in Volkswagen China after Zhang Wei replaces Peng Feili? we might as well wait and see.

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