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April 22, 2024

Audi Korea names new head, seeks business turnaround

PUBLISHED : March 28, 2024 - 17:41

UPDATED : March 28, 2024 - 17:41

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Steve Cloete, newly-appointed head of Audi Korea (Volkswagen Group Korea)

Volkswagen Group Korea on Thursday appointed Steve Cloete to become the next head of Audi Korea as the German automaker looks for a breakthrough to turn around ailing sales in the local market.

According to the announcement, Cloete will begin this new post at Audi Korea starting May 1. The new chief has over 27 years of experience in the automotive industry having worked at Hyundai Motor Group in South Africa and BMW Group in Bahrain.

After joining Audi in 2014, Cloete worked in after-sales and dealer network management for the German automaker in Australia. He has led the sales and network development teams at Audi Australia since 2019.

Lim Hyun-ki, the former head of Audi Korea, became the first female and first Korean manager to lead the Audi brand when she took the Korean unit’s chief position in July 2022.

However, the sales of Audi Korea have gone down in the last two years. After selling 21,402 vehicles in the country to retain the third most-selling auto importer spot in 2022, Audi Korea sold 17,868 units last year.

According to the Korea Automobile Importers and Distributors Association’s data, the outlook has worsened this year as the German automaker only sold 447 units from January to February, down some 90 percent from the same period last year, and fell out of the top 10 auto importers’ list here.

"I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Executive Director Lim Hyun-ki for her dedication and contribution to the development of Audi in Korea over the past 20 years," said Till Scheer, CEO of Volkswagen Group Korea.

"As an early member of Audi Korea, Lim showed exemplary leadership and dedication by standing firm despite the ups and downs of the brand. I wish her success in all future challenges."

By Kan Hyeong-woo (hwkan@heraldcorp.com)
The Korea Herald

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