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Volkswagen Group Ireland Appoints New CEO

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Volkswagen Group Ireland has appointed Pierre Boutin as its new Group Managing Director and CEO. Boutin joined the Volkswagen Group in 2014 and has worked across a variety of roles, including Head of Volkswagen Group Russia and Volkswagen Group France.

In his most recent position, as CEO and Group Managing Director of Volkswagen Group Canada, he presided over a period of unparalleled success, delivering significant improvements across the business and securing the largest electric vehicle supply chain investment in Canadian history.

Boutin was instrumental in Volkswagen Group Canada achieving record market share in 2023. He also played a pivotal role in securing Volkswagen Group’s first ever North American EV battery cell gigafactory, in St. Thomas, Ontario. Based on a site the size of 850 football pitches, the St. Thomas Gigafactory will have a potential production volume of up to 90 gigawatt hours – enough to power around 1 million EVs a year. Volkswagen, together with the Canadian government, have pledged to invest more than €13bn in the deal. Construction is due to start this year with production commencing in 2027.

Boutin succeeds Carla Wentzel who moves to Volkswagen Group Poland as the first female CEO in the history of Poland’s automotive sector. During her five-year tenure as CEO in Ireland, Wentzel consolidated Volkswagen Group Ireland’s position as the country’s leading automotive company while successfully guiding the business through the Covid pandemic and semiconductor crisis.

Commenting on his appointment, Boutin said: “I am delighted to join Volkswagen Group Ireland at such an exciting period in automotive history. Volkswagen Group is not only the leading car company in Ireland, it is at the forefront of a transformative shift in the automotive landscape as we accelerate towards electric mobility. 

“I want to thank Carla for her stewardship of Volkswagen Group Ireland over the past five years. Her inspirational leadership steered the business through one of the most challenging periods the industry has witnessed and established Volkswagen Group Ireland as a pioneer in e-mobility, digitalisation, and sustainability.”

Volkswagen Group Ireland is the country’s leading automotive company with six brands – Volkswagen, Audi, CUPRA, SEAT, Škoda and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles – and a network of more than 100 retailers nationwide.

In 2023, the Group accounted for more than 27% of Ireland’s total new vehicle registrations, with sales up across every brand. Figures from the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI), reveal total registrations were up more than 12% at Volkswagen, 67% at SEAT and 150% at CUPRA. Audi retained its position as the number one premium brand in Ireland with registrations up 21%. Meanwhile, Škoda had a record year, exceeding 10,000 registrations for the first time in the firm’s Irish history as sales increased by 33%.

Volkswagen Group Ireland was also the country’s leading retailer of electric vehicles in 2023 with more than 30% market share. Volkswagen’s best-selling ID.4 was Ireland’s best-selling battery electric vehicle for the third year running, having previously outstripped the Nissan Leaf as the all-time best-selling EV in Ireland.

In addition to the ID.4, Volkswagen Group brands are responsible for a range of class-leading electric vehicles, including the award-winning Volkswagen ID.7, Audi e-tron GT, CUPRA Born, Škoda Enyaq and 2023 Irish Car of the Year, the Volkswagen ID. Buzz.

Outgoing CEO Carla Wentzel welcomed Boutin to his new role, predicting further success for the Volkswagen Group in Ireland under his leadership.

She said: “Having spent five wonderful years here, Ireland will always have a special place in my heart. I am certain Pierre will have a similarly positive experience. Working alongside our talented team and first-class dealer network, Volkswagen Group Ireland is well placed to spearhead a new chapter for the motor industry while giving customers the best possible experience.”