VW recruits Ford boss to top UK role

Volkswagen has poached senior Ford marketer Andrew Coombe to be its

UK marketing director.



Coombe, who takes up the post in early-July, replaces Chris Craft, who

was promoted to VW's new role of director of group services in

February.



Coombe has spent nine years at Ford and has been marketing director at

Ford Switzerland for the past two years. He joined Ford UK in 1992 and

worked on the launch of the Mondeo. He worked his way up through fleet

sales and retail sales and subsequently worked on the rental and used

car programme for Ford Direct, then in its infancy.



He then shifted over to Ford Europe, working as the brand manager for

Ford Focus until 1999, when he moved to Ford Switzerland. Prior to his

time at Ford, Coombe spent several years at investment bank UBS

Warburg.



Coombe said his move to Volkswagen gave him "a great chance to work with

a great brand". He will report to managing director Paul Willis and head

a pounds 35m adspend.



Communications manager Alan Doyle, who joined from Yellow Pages last

October, will continue to handle day-to-day advertising and the firm's

agency relationships.



Volkswagen's advertising is handled by BMP DDB, while the group's media

has been handled by MediaCom since August 1999.



The marque's UK market share was slightly down last year, dropping from

7.04% in 1999 to 7.01% in 2000, according to the Society of Motor

Manufacturers and Traders.



However, parent company the Volkswagen Group continues to muscle its way

into the luxury market, with marques such as Rolls-Royce and Bentley,

while holding steady with its mass market brands, which include Skoda

and Seat.



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