Alex Smith will return to Volkswagen Group UK in the New Year as managing director, replacing Paul Willis.
Smith has been managing director of Nissan since 2016, he previously worked within the Volkswagen Group since 2007.
With initial motor industry experience at Ford and Kia, Smith started at Volkswagen Group in 2007, heading successively the functions of Group Parts Operations, Retail Operations for Volkswagen Passenger Cars, before becoming director of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles UK in November 2011. On July 1 2014, he was appointed as director of Volkswagen Passenger Cars UK, reporting to Willis.
“I am very pleased to be returning to Volkswagen Group UK, especially at such a challenging yet exciting time for both the company and the automotive industry in general. Thanks to huge levels of investment, particularly in the field of e-mobility, the Group is well positioned for a strong future,” Smith said.
Volkswagen will launch its fully-electric ID car next year and has outlined further details of its future strategy.
The brand is planning to phase out the production of petrol and diesel cars by 2026, with a focus on its pure electric models.
Speaking at the Handelsplatt Auto Summit, Volkswagen strategy chief Michael Jost said development work on the company’s “last platform that has non-CO2-neutral potential” had already begun.
He suggested that the combustion engine will disappear from Volkswagen’s portfolio within 20 years.
Volkswagen expects to have 20 pure-electric cars in its range by 2025, with one million electric cars being sold per year globally by that time.