Audi Australia has announced it will merge its operations into Volkswagen Group Australia (VGA), joining the Volkswagen and Skoda brands and bringing the luxury brand ‘home’ under one umbrella.
The merger is subject to final approval by the parent companies in Germany and locally by the Foreign Investment Review Board. It will merge Volkswagen, Audi, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles and the VW-owned Czech brand Skoda into a single entity in Australia.
Audi Australia was established in 1997 and VGA in 2001, with both companies trading as separate entities until now. While they previously shared functions such as IT and procurement, the companies says they had been examining other areas to combine their resources “for some time” before making the decision to merge.
“Unification fortifies the position of these group brands,” said VGA Managing Director Michael Bartsch. “In a market where all auto brands are importers, no national sales company will have the breadth of offering, nor the sheer product strength of VGA.
“From a Skoda Fabia city car all the way to Audi’s R8 supercar, with every passenger car and SUV segment between, and a dominant light commercial vehicle arm besides, Volkswagen Group Australia will be class-leading in all aspects of the automotive market in which it competes.”
Paul Sansom, Managing Director of Audi Australia, said the merger would have clear benefits for Audi and VGA.
“Audi Australia has enjoyed enormous success over the last 15 years and the consolidation of its place in the Volkswagen Group here begins the next exciting chapter,” said Sansom.
“As a prestige brand, Audi has its own distinct identity in VGA and remains the group’s technological spearhead. Vorsprung durch Technik means progress through technology and Audi is set to continue its rich history of innovation by taking a leading role in future mobility.”
Bartsch said Audi will lead VGA’s push into electric vehicles.
“VGA will be positioned most advantageously to dominate what will, in time, become a common form of personal mobility,” he said. “Eventually, each group brand will have separate EV ranges that reflect the diversity and price positioning of their conventional showrooms. Yet, crucially, the brands retain their entirely distinct identities and customer sets.”
Bartsch, Managing Director of Volkswagen Group Australia since 2015, will lead the expanded group, while Paul Sansom will continue to lead Audi Australia, a position he has held since 2017. Ryan Davies remains Director of Volkswagen Commercial vehicles while Michael Irmer will continue to direct the Skoda brand.
Audi, Volkswagen and Skoda dealer networks will continue to operate within the scope of their existing agreements.