Wheels24.co.za | She has left her mark here – Martina Biene takes up new role, bids farewell at VWSA

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• Martina Biene will take up a new position at VW’s headquarters in Germany.

• Biene joined VWSA as head of the Brand in 2018.

• Biene was a familiar face at VWSA events.

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On 1 October 2018, Martina Biene joined Volkswagen South Africa as the head of the Volkswagen Brand. From the off, the German made an impact at the automaker’s local arm and quickly established herself as a leader the Group could look up to.

So immense was her impact that headquarters offered her a new position, reporting to the recently appointed VW Brand CEO, Ralf Brandstätter. Biene will take up the position of Head of G1 Baureihe (product management of A0 cars). She will begin her new job on 1 September.

Wheels24’s Janine Van der Post says: “Martina has been such a breath of fresh air in the local motoring industry. Although we are incredibly proud of her achievements, I think I speak for the entire motoring fraternity that she will be sorely missed.

“Martina is incredibly funny and she has embraced our South African culture like no one else. We’ll miss her crazy sense of humour, her cool t-shirts, and that she was always up for a ‘jol’. But, we’ll find solace knowing she’ll have SA’s best interest at heart as she takes up her new role at the mothership in Germany.”

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Embracing the culture

Mike Glendinning, sales and marketing director for Volkswagen Group South Africa, says: “Martina’s appointment is testimony to her talent and skill. And though we are disappointed that she is leaving us, we wish her everything of the best for the next chapter in her career.”

VWSA says that during her tenure, Biene has embraced the South African culture and integrated into local society, which has enabled her to understand the local automotive market. In 2019, Volkswagen’s market share in the passenger car market was a record 20.4%, the highest since 1996.

Glendinning concludes: “Martina’s stewardship of the Volkswagen Brand during her relatively short tenure has been excellent. She has made a positive impact with regards to strategy development, especially on topics like digitalization, connectivity, and other future-orientated aspects of our business.”

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Martina Biene at her South African appointment on 1 October 2018 (MotorPress)

Compiled by: Charlen Raymond