VW appoints new boss: Schäfer should make Skoda more aggressive


The VW subsidiary Skoda gets a new boss. It is the person previously responsible for the VW business in South Africa. Corporate boss Diess has already announced what the new man should pay particular attention to.

According to a report by the "Automobilwoche", the Czech VW subsidiary Skoda is to be steered by Thomas Schäfer in the future. The 50-year-old manager, who had previously been head of the VW group in South Africa, should be elected as the new Skoda executive board this Monday, the industry paper reported. Schäfer succeeds Bernhard Maier, who gave up the top job at the Czech volume brand on July 31 after almost five years.


A VW spokesman in Wolfsburg did not want to comment on the report. Most recently, it was said that Maier's successor should be elected at the first Skoda board meeting in August. According to the "Automobilwoche", the choice is due to the corona pandemic and vacation-related video.

A number of top positions have recently been filled in the VW Group. CEO Herbert Diess had to give up the management of the core brand, his right hand Ralf Brandstätter took over. Diess had recently defended the new appointments and linked the management changes with clear guidelines for the group brands.

This sets the direction

In the "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung" Diess Skoda had called "not aggressive enough" on the volume market in competition with Koreans or French. "We are giving ourselves a chance. It does not help us if Skoda would develop into a third premium brand in the group," he told the newspaper. Skoda must be stronger in the segment of inexpensive cars.

Skoda is considered very successful in the VW group when it comes to trimming for yield. Last year before the Corona crisis, Skoda increased its sales by around 15 percent to 19.8 billion euros, the operating result by a good fifth to 1.7 billion. Last year, 1.24 million new cars were delivered worldwide. The record number of 910,000 vehicles came off the assembly line from the Czech plants – 2.25 percent more than in 2018.