New Chairman of the Board appointed at ŠKODA AUTO

New Chairman of the Board appointed at ŠKODA AUTO

› Thomas Schäfer takes over as Chairman of the Board at ŠKODA AUTO a.s.

Mladá Boleslav, 3 August 2020 – Thomas Schäfer takes over as Chairman of the Board at ŠKODA AUTO with immediate effect. In this position, he succeeds Bernhard Maier, who is handing over the office to his successor after almost five years at the helm.

Thomas Schäfer will assume the role of Chairman of the Board at ŠKODA AUTO on 3 August 2020. The qualified mechanical engineer began his career in the automotive industry at Daimler AG in 1991. He held various management positions in the areas of production and quality management in Germany, the USA and South Africa until 2002. From 2002 to 2005, he was a founding member of DaimlerChrysler Malaysia as Board Member for Technology, where he expanded and restructured the company’s sales, production, and supplier base.

At Daimler AG in Germany, Schäfer was responsible for vehicle deliveries, customer centres and the global xKD business in emerging markets between 2005 and 2012. In addition to establishing new plants, he was also responsible for planning and strategy and international logistics for all foreign plants. In 2011, his main tasks included managing the Mercedes-Benz plant construction project in cooperation with BAIC in China. In May 2012, Schäfer moved to Volkswagen AG, where he initially headed the Group’s International Production and was responsible for xKD projects and negotiations on new production sites. Since 2015, he has served as Chairman and Managing Director of Volkswagen Group South Africa, responsible for the development of the Group brands in the sub-Saharan Africa region.

Throughout his five-year tenure, he consistently promoted the expansion of the sales network, increased dealer profitability and led the Group brands Volkswagen, Audi and VW Commercial Vehicles to the current record market share of 23.5 per cent. Under the leadership of Thomas Schäfer, the Volkswagen Group has significantly developed and strengthened its position in sub-Saharan Africa. Building new production sites, entering into new cooperation agreements with importers and developing mobility concepts for Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda and Ghana have also contributed to this.

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Group profile

In existence since 1805, and across family generations, D’Ieteren seeks growth and value creation by pursuing a strategy on the long term for its businesses and actively encouraging and supporting them to develop their position in their industry or in their geographies. The Group has currently the following activities:

  • D'Ieteren Auto distributes Volkswagen, Audi, SEAT, Škoda, Bentley, Lamborghini, Bugatti, Porsche and Yamaha vehicles in Belgium. It has a market share of around 22% and 1.2 million vehicles on the road. Its business model is evolving towards improving the lives of citizens with fluid, accessible and sustainable mobility. Sales and adjusted operating result reached respectively EUR 3.6 billion and EUR 119.0 million in FY 2019.
  • Belron (54.85% of the voting rights) has a clear purpose: “making a difference by solving people’s problems with real care”. It is the worldwide leader in vehicle glass repair and replacement and operates in 39 countries, through wholly owned businesses and franchises, with market leading brands – including Carglass®, Safelite® and Autoglass®. In addition, Belron manages vehicle glass and other insurance claims on behalf of insurance customers. Sales and adjusted operating result reached respectively EUR 4.2 billion and EUR 400.5 million in FY 2019.
  • Moleskine (100% owned) is a premium and aspirational lifestyle brand which develops and sells iconic branded notebooks and writing, travel and reading accessories through a multichannel distribution strategy across 114 countries. Sales and adjusted operating result reached respectively EUR 163.9 million and EUR 18.6 million in FY 2019.
  • D’Ieteren Immo (100%) groups together the Belgian real estate interests of D’Ieteren Group. It owns and manages approximately 30 properties which generated EUR 19.7 million net rental income in FY 2019. It also pursues investment projects and carries out studies into possible site renovations. 


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