Fleet News Hall of Fame member Vincent Kinner will retire from his role as head of group fleet services at Volkswagen Group UK at the end of March.
Kinner is one of Volkswagen Group UK’s longest-serving employees having worked for the Group for 42 years.
Since December 2012 he has held the role of head of group fleet services, overseeing the back-office operations of the fleet departments of the five Volkswagen Group UK brands – Volkswagen Passenger Cars and Commercial Vehicles, Audi, Seat and Škoda.
His career began outside the motor industry, managing a chain of jewellers, but in 1972 he joined Walter Scott in Finchley, managing retail sales before moving the following year to Volkswagen Tax Free Sales in Baker Street, London as an account executive. Here he sold cars to HM Forces, Diplomats and UK companies working on capital projects overseas.
As a national account manager and still at Baker Street, Kinner helped start Volkswagen Fleet in 1983. In 1989 he took over responsibility for all tax free UK fleet sales and used cars disposal for both Audi and Volkswagen. The Fleet operation moved from Baker Street to Newport Pagnell to a purpose-built site and Volkswagen Leasing was also started at this time.
In 1994 the Audi and Volkswagen brands separated, and Kinner started Volkswagen Fleet as the national sales manager.
In 1996 he became head of Volkswagen Fleet, with sole responsibility for the Volkswagen fleet strategy. He remained in this role until December 2012. During this time, Volkswagen was transformed from a relatively small fleet player into number one in true fleet, with the product line-up expanding from just nine to 19 cars.
Commenting on Kinner’s departure, managing director of Volkswagen Group UK, Paul Willis, said: "Vince’s transformation of Volkswagen Fleet Services was nothing short of spectacular. His understanding of the brand, the fleet market and the importance of the highest quality people as well as high quality products established Volkswagen as the leader in true fleet sales in the UK.
"Since moving to a Group-wide role in 2012 he has set up a successful five-brand fleet contact centre and set in train a suite of processes which will allow the Group to remain a serious contender in all fleet markets for many years to come."
Kinner added: "I’m sad to be leaving the Volkswagen Group as it has been a part of my life for so long. I’ve witnessed the launch of many new cars, made many new friends and signed many fleet deals. I wish my colleagues and the Group all the very best for continuing success in the future."
A successor for Kinner will be announced in due course.