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Volkswagen SA MD Schaefer appointed Skoda's global CEO

2020-08-04 12:35
thomas schaefer

Thomas Schaefer. Image: Quickpic

• Volkswagen South Africa managing director and chairman Thomas Schaefer appointed as global CEO for Škoda.

• Schaefer leaves South Africa after five years at the helm and has been replaced by Dr Robert Cissek.

• VWSA dominate the passenger car market with its Polo and Polo Vivo models.


Volkswagen South Africa managing director and chairman Thomas Schaefer has been appointed global CEO of Škoda, effective August 3. 

The German-born employee departs the Volkswagen Group South Africa (VWSA) after five years. Schaefer will be replaced by Dr Robert Cisek , who is currently responsible for the Production Strategy of the Volkswagen passenger cars brand in Wolfsburg. 

Schaefer was appointed in chairman and managing director in February 2015 and two years later his portfolio was expanded to include the responsibility for Sub Saharan Africa as part of carmaker's expansion strategy into the region.

He has been instrumental in establishing Volkswagen's presence in Kenya, Rwanda and Ghana, and has signed Memorandums of Understanding with the governments of Nigeria and Ethiopia.

Schaefer said: "My tenure as the MD of VWSA has been the highlight of my career so far. I am immensely proud to have worked for and led such an impactful and good company. Together with my team, we have moved VWSA forward with outstanding production and sales results which have earned our company recognition locally and abroad."

Locally, under Schaefer more than one in every five vehicles sold is a Volkswagen or Audi. With the Polo and Polo Vivo manufactured at the Uitenhage factory the best-selling passenger models.

In 2019, VWSA enjoyed a record year with the Uitenhage factory achieving its highest production volume of 161 954 units and the Volkswagen Brand reporting a record-market share of 20.4%, the highest since 1996.

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Image: Thomas Schaefer / Quickpic

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