Audi Spain creates comms department for new push

Madrid: Volkswagen Spain has put Fernando Saiz at the helm of a newly-created communications department to handle PR for its Audi upscale car brand.

The move is a part of a reshuffle of the VW group's Spanish communications department in which comms director Maria Jose Icern will transfer Audi supervision to Saiz.

"I will take over Audi to give the brand a 100% focus while Icern will continue to handle Volkswagen and Skoda," Saiz explained.

A part of the move, Audi will create a separate 3-strong communications department for Audi reporting to the brand's general manager Jesus Gasanz, Saiz noted. Albert Roche will continue to lead media relations for Audi in Barcelona. The company will hire an assistant to work under Saiz in Madrid.

VW wants to give Audi a new push in Spain, Europe's fifth-biggest car market where car sales are declining.

One reason to place Saiz in Madrid was to broaden Audi's ties with the media.

"We want Madrid to be the centre of our efforts to attract the national and regional press" to the Audi Forum, a big showroom located in the city's Castellana
upscale neighborhood, Saiz said.

Saiz will work to promote Audi as an upscale brand with "cutting-edge technology, and design." He will step up promotional events and sponsorship efforts to boost Audi's sales beyond this year's goal of 46,000 cars.

The department will devise a slew of actions to promote the launch of the new AudiQ7 SUV early next year. It will also publicize Audi through sports and
cultural sponsorships.
Prior to joining Audi, Saiz was comms director for Goodyear Dunlop Tires in Spain, which downsized the department, leaving media relations director Clara Roig in charge.

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