Wolfsburg, November 15, 2011 – The Volkswagen Group is to expand its Government relations and liaison with associations in the United Kingdom. Dr. Franz-Josef Paefgen has agreed to perform these duties. He was latterly Chairman of Bentley and has close ties with the British market. He will be supported by Mike Hawes who will assume the role of UK Government Affairs Director for Volkswagen AG.
Dr. Franz-Josef Paefgen started his career with the Volkswagen Group in 1980. From 1995 Dr. Paefgen, who holds a doctorate in engineering, was responsible for technical development as a Member of the Board of Management of Audi AG, before becoming Deputy Chairman and Speaker of the Board of Management in 1997. In 1998 he was appointed Chairman of the Board of Management of Audi and President and CEO of Lamborghini S.p.A.
He became Chairman of Bentley in 2002 and held the same post at Bugatti from 2007. As previously announced, he has been a consultant to the Group Board of Management since the beginning of 2011. He is also a member of the UK’s Automotive Council, the Government-Industry partnership charged with promoting and enhancing the automotive industry.
Dr Paefgen will be supported in this role by Mike Hawes. Mr Hawes, who retains his responsibilities as Director for Corporate and Government Affairs at Bentley Motors, will help coordinate the Government-related activities of Volkswagen AG in the UK. He will work with Volkswagen Group UK in the execution of its communication activities especially in the promotion of new technologies in which Volkswagen continues to make significant investment.
The Volkswagen Group, through Volkswagen Group United Kingdom Limited, is now the UK market leader in car sales. The Group also owns and operates the Bentley Motors Ltd. plant in Crewe, where some 3,500 employees design, develop, build and market the Mulsanne and Continental models as well as engines.
Dr. Paefgen underscored: “The United Kingdom is an important market for the Volkswagen Group and home to Bentley, one of the world’s most famous and prestigious brands. We have strong roots as a car manufacturer in the United Kingdom and will be further strengthening our responsibilities and role in this context.”