Ricochet News

Volkswagen’s David Powels Heading for Brazil

Nov 24, 2014
Volkswagen’s David Powels Heading for Brazil

Volkswagen South Africa Managing Director David Powels has been appointed President of Volkswagen do Brasil, the company announced this morning.

He will be replaced by Thomas Schäfer, an engineer, who has been working for the Volkswagen Group (VWAG) since 2012 as Head of Group Production (Foreign Plants).

Powels, a Chartered Accountant, was born and educated in Port Elizabeth. He joined VWSA in 1989 in the Finance Division and then became Export Manager traveling the world looking for Group companies “who would accept components from this country”.

He returned to the Finance Division in 1993 to head the Controlling Division, this was followed by a foreign assignment in Finance at both Volkswagen AG and Audi AG.

He returned to South Africa in 1998 as Finance Director, a post he held for four years before becoming Vice President Finance and Corporate Strategy at Volkswagen do Brasil in 2002.

In 2007, he returned to South Africa as Managing Director.

Schäfer, started his working career at Mercedes Benz AG in 1994. No stranger to South Africa, he moved to East London in 1998 in a management role at Mercedes Benz South Africa.

In 2002 he moved to Malaysia as the Plant Manager and remained there for Mercedes till 2005 when he returned to Germany responsible for the planning of their production plants.

During Powels' tenure as MD the company invested over R7 billion in plants, product and infrastructure. The factory was modernised and platforms rationalised with the introduction of the Polo and Polo Vivo in 2010.

Local content was increased significantly to levels in excess of 70%, helped by the establishment of numerous global suppliers in the Nelson Mandela Logistics Park in Uitenhage.

These two cars have been the best-selling passenger models in South Africa since introduction and has helped to secure passenger market leadership for VWSA for four consecutive years.

Powels moves to one VWAG's biggest operations outside of Germany, a country with a population of over 200 million people, with a car market of 3.5 million cars a year with Volkswagen being the biggest manufacturer in Brazil producing over 700 000 cars a year. - MetroMinutes.


Photo courtesy of www.financialmail.co.za