VW names former GM exec as head of US operations

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Europe's biggest carmaker, Volkswagen, said Monday it had named former General Motors executive Jonathan Browning as head of its operations in the United States.

Browning, 51, "is an acknowledged expert on this market, its customers and its sales structures," VW sales director Christian Klingler said in a statement.

Browning assumes his new post on October 1.

Browning joined Volkswagen in June after nine years with GM in Europe, where he was head of European sales, service and marketing.

VW wants to increase its US presence as it pursues the goal of overtaking Toyota of Japan as the world's largest automaker by 2018.

"The USA will always be one of the largest and most important markets for automobiles," Klingler said.

He said VW sought to sell one million cars there in 2018 and pledged that "Volkswagen and Audi will become leading brands in the USA."

Audi is a wholly-owned divsion of the VW group, which Klingler noted was investing one billion dollars in a new plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

© 2010 AFP

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