Martin Sander becomes Board Member for Sales at VW Passenger Cars

The Volkswagen core brand has announced a change in the Board of Management: Ford's electric car Europe boss Martin Sander will become Board Member for Sales, Marketing and After Sales in Wolfsburg - not his first job for the Group. The current board member Imelda Labbé is leaving the company for personal reasons as part of a retirement programme.

Image: Ford

Sander will take up his new post in Wolfsburg on 1 July, Volkswagen announced. Sander is moving from the Ford Motor Company to Wolfsburg and will report directly to Volkswagen brand boss Thomas Schäfer.

Schäfer is full of praise for the new addition: “With Martin Sander, we are gaining an experienced sales expert, a proven leader. Martin can look back on many years of experience in the automotive industry and in the Volkswagen Group and will provide new momentum to sustainably position the Volkswagen brand’s sales organization for the future. With his know-how and his knowledge of the international markets, he will set strategic priorities, particularly in the marketing and after-sales business.”

Imelda Labbé took over the sales department of the VW core brand around two years ago – a position that has recently seen frequent changes. Jürgen Stackmann was replaced by Klaus Zellmer in September 2020. However, Zellmer succeeded Thomas Schäfer as CEO of Skoda when Schäfer became VW brand CEO. Schäfer now attests that Labbé ‘has increased market share with her outstanding sales expertise and has also given Volkswagen back its typical face in advertising’. “Imelda Labbé has provided important momentum in the realignment of the brand for the future. I have great respect for her commitment and her achievements and wish Imelda all the best for the future,” said Schäfer.

For Labbé’s successor Sander, the new role in Wolfsburg is a return to the Group: Until his move to Ford as Head of Germany at the beginning of 2022 (including promotion to General Manager for Ford Model e in Europe in the same year), Sander was primarily active at Audi. There, he held a number of different management positions in North America and Europe – including positions as Senior Vice President of Sales for Europe, Germany, America and the UK. However, Sander not only has a past in the Group, but also in Lower Saxony: he was born in Hildesheim and graduated from the Technical University of Braunschweig with a degree in engineering.

When it came to his appointment to the Brand Management Board, his origins and his degree subject were likely less decisive than his professional experience. VW emphasises his position as General Manager Europe for Ford’s Model e division in particular: “He was responsible for the development of electric vehicles as well as the development of software and services for connected vehicles for Ford in Europe.” Sander will probably be able to put this experience to good use in Wolfsburg.,


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