First woman ever to head Volkswagen Ireland
A WOMAN is to head up the Volkswagen group in Ireland for the first time in its history.
Carla Wentzel will take over as group managing director at the country's largest automotive company this autumn.
She will do so at a time of unprecedented change, locally and globally, as the industry gears up for the much-heralded era of electrification while it is still grappling with the regulatory fallout from 'Dieselgate'.
Ms Wentzel currently heads up the Volkswagen brand in her native South Africa.
She held several other senior management positions in her home market where she has been voted the "most influential woman in business and government in South Africa".
Ms Wentzel will take over from Tom Fleming who has led Volkswagen Group Ireland as its interim managing director since last December. He returns to his previous role of group human resources director.
The group has a 25pc share of the Irish market thanks to a spread of brands including Volkswagen, Skoda, Audi, Seat and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. It is seeking to move on from the emissions scandal of 2015 in part with a focus on greener technology.
The company plans to start offering car-sharing services using fully electric vehicles in German cities next year as part of efforts to serve consumers who don't want to buy their own vehicles.
It said the new service would be expanded to major cities in Europe, North America and Asia as early as 2020. (Additional reporting Reuters)