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Volkswagen Group UK appoints Paul Willcox as managing director

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Paul Willcox has been appointed managing director of Volkswagen Group (UK), taking over from Simon Thomas who leaves the UK on September 1, 2013 to take up a global marketing role.

Willcox, 49, joins the business on September 16 from Nissan, where he has held the role of senior vice president, sales and marketing for Europe since June 2011.  

He has worked in the motor industry for a number of years, having started his career at Peugeot GB.

He joined Nissan Motor Company GB in 1992 and has held numerous management positions in sales and marketing, including manager corporate planning, general manager marketing strategy and pricing, and marketing director Nissan GB. 

He was appointed vice president marketing for Nissan Europe in 2005 before returning to Nissan Motors Great Britain as managing director in 2008.

Willcox will be based at Volkswagen Group UK's headquarters in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, from where he will be responsible for the Group's five UK brands - Volkswagen Passenger Cars and Commercial Vehicles, Audi, Seat and Skoda - and their associated functions.

Simon Thomas, who has been with the Volkswagen Group since September 2011, will take up the role of global head of marketing for the Volkswagen Group and the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand at the company's headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany, reporting to the board member for sales and marketing for the Volkswagen Group and the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand, Christian Klingler. 

Thomas succeeds Jürgen Stackmann, who became chairman of Seat S.A. on May 1, 2013.

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  • mr khan - 04/10/2013 03:33

    Poor customer service left me hanging for 6 month and still waiting to hear about my front left wing rusting from inside out!!!!!! Key ignition fault and the car hasn't even done 60.000 miles yet!!!!!

  • Carol - 30/10/2013 13:03

    Whilst driving my V W EOS stationary at a juvction at the time my glass for the sunroof shattered with no explaination! lucky the inner part of roof was closed. When i took this up with v w Colindale they took my car in for inspection. After 3 days of keeping my car they told me to collect with no fault found. How do you explaine my roof just shattering ...no foul play, no object thrown. When I bought this car it took 8 months to getV W to stop my roof leaking, so from the start I have had major problems with this roof. (not replaced but seals glued with very bad workmanship....hence 2 months ifc payments refunded and warranty extended. The service I have recieved in the past 7 years from V W was absolutley atrocious and would never be recommended. I am now in the process of contacting WATCH DOG ! i'm sure they would have something to say.........

  • Kathleen howard - 01/03/2014 13:19

    I bought a Volkswagen from Volkswagon Inch Engeenering car garage in Bathgate, with full manufacture warrantee,, which is lifetime on body,, I have a huge hole in the side of my EOS that s an 07 plate and they will not accept liability get it fixed..I have had it checked by Volkswagon Specalised cars Aberdeen and it's already been repaired so no body warrantee.. I don't thick this should be allowed and I am taking thevmarrer further.. Where my warrantee ... ?????

  • Mrs J Oddy - 28/03/2014 17:25

    Two weeks ago I did a test drive in a VW UP andf agreed to buy one in part exchange for my Clio. When it came from another dealership it was not the same model. It did not even have an adjustable drivers seat and I could not see. Although they have changed the seats it has not got the central locking and windows. They have broken their contract and I do not want this car. It is their mistake and now they are starting to be difficult

  • ERIC OFOSUHENE - 24/04/2014 16:30

    My vw golf 5 r32 dsg mechatronics failed as a defects with these gearbox by VW. Currently, VW Milton Keynes has made their decision not to undertake charge of cost for the defects which is currently costing GBP 4grand. Despite all formal letters sent to their vw headoffice as a loyal customer with 3 VW cars in possession right now, they have failed and ignored to repair the defects of the mechatronic failure. Now the milage of the car in question is 74000miles which meant to fall in brackets of these dsg cars under 100000miles to be repaired free of charge to customers, I have been directly discriminated for the defects reported to VW HEADOFFICE MILTON KEYNES. NEEDS LEGAL EXPLANATION FROM MR. PAUL WILLCOX ? THE CAR IN QUESTION IS NOW WITH BEDFORD VENDIS.

  • Vanessa Smith - 02/06/2014 09:19

    My vw fox passenger window cable snapped. I tried to get vw coulsdon to tell me what I need to do as my window would not close I phoned over 5 times with a promise that someone would phone me back. In the end the aa came crash wrapped my window and I went to a local garage who mended the snapped cable wire as it was raining and couldn't wait any longer for vw to get back to me. I have had a totally horrendous conversation with David at customer care who said he is as high as you can get!! ( not true is it!) I would be grateful if Paul Willcox can spend 5 minutes talking to me?

  • Helen Rippin - 08/06/2014 10:36

    I have happily driven Golfs for more than 10 years, recently I had to have a Cam Belt and EGR filter replaced on a 10 plate. As there is no local Volkswagen dealer I used my local garage as I have always done. Volkswagen have refused to contribute to the cost of the EGR even though a quick internet search reveals this to be a common problem. As another contributor has stated Charlene at customer service advised that I cannot complain as she is as high as I can go and her manager doesn't speak to customers. Ridiculous!

  • Byron Davies - 30/07/2014 16:12

    I have a problem with a 10 month old golf GT (5,500 miles ) Wayside St Albans say yes there is a problem but say it is common to golf DSG's ???. Just come off the phone from customer care uk, their comment was we can do nothing about it take it to another dealer. NOT the answer or after care I would expect from VW maybe Paul Willcox can help if I can get through to his office.

    • Wayne - 16/12/2014 18:31

      Byron Davies did this work did Paul Wilcox get In touch with you about your problem as I having problem with my vw I wondering posting it on here

  • Gerry Gajadharsingh - 03/03/2015 13:25

    I have 3 VW's, 2 of them high end GTI's. One of them its had a timing chain failure which required an engine rebuild and me paying the full cost of over £2K. The car has only done 53K has always had VW main dealer service and ironically had its last service 2 months before the failure. Again another quick internet search has come up with LOTS of VW drivers having the same timing chain problem. Most of them tinme VW has made goodwill payments. In my case both CityGate the dealer and VW UK don't want to know . I've spent £60K on VW's over the past 4 years but rest assured I won't be buying one again, after this dreadful aftercare. I'll of course be writing to Which and other consumer magazines to flag up the issue. I'll let you know if Paul Wilcox replies although I'm not holding my breath.

  • Merlin - 28/04/2015 16:51

    Our company booked for a two day event at end of February. Trying to get the payment owed. Very difficult and frustrating I am sorry to say.

  • Nicki Shinkins - 04/05/2015 19:43

    Bought a 57 plate Mini Cooper S fom Riverside Northampton, january 2015, within days had issues, they had it back and sent it to BMW dealer, it needed oil, had no antifreeze in it, needed new thermostat housing as it was cracked, t needed new thermostat sensor, rear washer bottle didnt work, service light constantly on, engine fan still running even with engine off, noise when changing from 2nd to 3rd gear noise when going round roundabout..... Have been told bakes are below legal limit (pads and discs) and it needs a timing chain, VW have now had my car for 9 weeks, WHILE I AM STILL PAYING THE LOAN FOR MY CAR, AND THE INSURANCE. Have spoken to VW customer services whose reponse is " not their responsibility as VW Northampton are a Franchise".. VW customer service is absolutely disgusting, Paul Wilcox needs to step up and quickly as it seems any many people are not satisfied with VW customer service.

  • daniel Ingram - 20/05/2015 21:09

    Not sure if the will be pasted on but does anyone know or have a VW Lupo model, maybe Paul Willcox mite have one spare knocking around his office or might be able to get me one, If so please email bethebestone@me.com

  • Richard - 17/06/2015 12:35

    Where do I start ... 2 years ago I bought a VW New Beetle for my wife from Crowsons VW Splading Lincs, to find within 6 months it required £1500 of work. x2 perished tyres which had the cracks filled in with back to black, front pads and discs and overdue a service and cambelt change. When I spoke to Paul Crowson and I quote " what do you expect from a second hand car?". After many weeks of argument VW customer services sorted all the outstanding work, no what you expect from VW used approved. Let's now move on to my Audi A4 Advant which I've just changed for 9 month old BMW 3 Series Touring. Whilst looking for a replacement for my A4 I went to Newbury Audi to look at an A4 Allroad and was greatered by the salesman and I quote " Are you sure you can afford this car Mr Ellis". That and bodged warranty work by York Audi, shall we say I shall not be buying another VAG product again, which is a shame because I love my A4 and up until now has been the best car I have ever owned.

  • Beth - 27/07/2015 13:56

    I am the owner of a VW Polo 61 plate. The car has 30,000 miles on the clock and I have owned it since new. The vehicle is on a fixed term loan agreement with a finance provider, Zenith. My finance is due to end in October whereby I either hand my car back, or pay off the finance at approx. £5,000. At the beginning of April 2105 my car lost all power and I managed to struggle to drive my vehicle to my nearest garage. My vehicle was then taken by recovery vehicle at a cost of £100 to my nearest VW dealership in Harlow. Upon diagnostic testing by VW I was informed that the exhaust turbine had broken up (of which the cause could not be determined) but was informed by Harlow VW it was down to a ‘manufacturing problem’. The break-up of the exhaust turbine had in turn caused a problem with the turbo and DPF filter. There was also a distinct possibility that these defects could have caused damage to my engine but this could be determined until the aforementioned works had been carried out. I directed my complaint to both my finance company and VW to see if they were prepared to offer any assistance with getting my car road worthy again. The finance provider, Zenith, was not prepared to help. VW Customer Services offered, as a goodwill gesture to pay for 100% of the parts. However neither the VW dealership, Aybridge in Harlow or Zenith, the finance company, were prepared to offer anything in respect of the labour costs which have been estimated at £759.00. I then appointed a solicitor who wrote to VW who responded by saying that they stood by their original decision to cover the costs of the engine repair. The solicitor cost me £400. Therefore I paid the £759 labour costs, only to be advised that the engine in fact was damaged, a further cost of between £6,000 and £8,000. I went back to VW independently of the solicitor and they agreed to fit a new engine in the car; however I would still be accountable for the labour costs. In total the labour costs were £2319.00 and I was left without a car for three months.

  • Dan Mitchell - 24/02/2016 11:22

    Let me hold your hand and guide you through the Alice in Wonderland experience of trying to buy a car that has been relaunched in the UK by VW. On the scale of desirable vehicles produced by the German giant this model is probably the ugly duckling (to mix metaphors). Nevertheless there is sufficient demand in the UK for Wolfsburg to ‘reissue’ it to the market. Let’s not dwell too much on the unfortunate incident - VW being caught lying about software deliberately designed and installed in VW and other VW brand vehicles, to cheat emission tests. Although integrity failure has (apparently) affected sales. So one would have thought that a renewed sales effort to claw back and salvage would be paramount? So here is my experience of drifting into a number of swanky VW salesrooms in North London. ‘Oh dear’, we didn’t want a shiny Passat, ‘commercial vehicles stock that model’. There is something rather disheartening to see a customer looking through the windows of new models on show in the yard when it is 4 o’clock on a Saturday afternoon. ‘Another wheel-kicker’? “So you want a VW with sliding passenger doors like a Berlingo and the same size?” “Well this VW Caddy maxi suits you down to the ground!” “No. We want a short wheel base, passenger van – like a Berlingo”. “Well early next year VW are relaunching the Caddy Life to the UK market.” “Will you have a demonstrator?” “Oh yes” As you might know, the entry level vehicle comes in at £22K. For that amount of coin as a cash sale – spare me the finance deals, we’re not that gullible – we would really like to drive one to see if it suits us. The offer to test drive a Maxi doesn’t do it. It is the equivalent of offering a test drive in a Passat and saying it is the same as a Golf. I have driven both, by the way. We have been passed around like a freshly scooped-up dogs’ ‘doo’ for someone to eventually dispose of in the poo receptacle. Why? VW decided to relaunch the vehicle in the UK without shipping a single demonstrator to the dealerships. Now, I am no marketing whizz, but in order to sell a vehicle you do need to actually show it in the metal and in a number of model variants. Secondly staff really shouldn’t be trying to cover this ‘cheap shot’ by offering a drive in the Maxi. From here it subsides into confusion, lies (more lies!) and obfuscation; even at VW commercial sales UK. But the bottom line is – if you want a short wheel base Caddy Life undramatically relaunched in the UK to satisfy demand, you have to place an order and buy it unseen.

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