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VW Hires Maserati Executive as COO for Brand in U.S.

Volkswagen AG, pursuing aggressive sales growth, said it hired Mark McNabb as chief operating officer for its namesake brand in the U.S., overseeing sales and customer experience.

McNabb, 51, joins VW from Fiat SpA’s Maserati where he was chief executive officer of the luxury brand’s North America operations, the Wolfsburg, Germany-based automaker said today in an e-mailed statement. McNabb starts May 1 and will report to Jonathan Browning, president of Volkswagen Group of America.

“As our brand grows and we continue to invest in new products and production capacity here in the U.S. and North America, it is important that we also keep adding to the talent pool available to our group,” Browning said in the statement. VW’s U.S. subsidiary is based in Herndon, Virginia.

VW, which ranked as the world’s third-best selling automaker last year behind Toyota Motor Corp. and General Motors Co., aims to be No. 1 by 2018 with the help of sales growth in the U.S. where it has lagged for decades. VW brand sales rose 35 percent to more than 438,100 in the U.S. last year, aided by the redesigned Passat sedan.

McNabb joined Maserati in 2009 after working at GM’s predecessor as vice president of premium brands, including Cadillac. He also spent almost 20 years at Nissan Motor Co. in different roles, including sales and marketing, VW said in the statement.

Separately, Maserati named Bob Graczyk, who had been director of sales for Chrysler Group LLC’s Asia Pacific region, to replace McNabb. Chrysler is majority owned by Fiat. Maserati’s U.S. sales rose 18 percent last year to 2,730, according to researcher Autodata Corp.

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