The head of Audi Canada has been tapped to lead Volkswagen Group Canada, which oversees VW and Audi sales in the region, as the company continues to rebound from a diesel emissions crisis.
Daniel Weissland will take over as president and CEO effective Dec. 1, VW Canada said in a statement Monday. Weissland succeeds Maria Stenstroem, who will return to Germany.
The automaker didn’t say why the change was made or which job Stenstroem will take in Germany. Weissland has led Audi Canada since August 2015. Under his leadership, Audi has experienced 22 consecutive months of growth.
Weissland will also become the president of the Volkswagen Brand in Canada, effective Jan. 1, 2018. Stenstroem previously held that role, as well. A new head of Audi Canada will be appointed in the near future.
Stenstroem has been with the Volkswagen Group since 2011, and leaves the Canadian operation after five years at the helm.
Volkswagen Canada spokesman Thomas Tetzlaff said in an email that “foreign service employees typically come to our operation on three-year contracts, which can be extended up to a total of five years.”
“Ms. Stenstroem joined us early in 2013, and her five years were just about done, so it was time for us to find a new leader,” Tetzlaff explained. “I am unable to share Maria’s next role at this point in time, however.”
Volkswagen sales are up 14.7 per cent to 97,666 units through the first 10 months of 2017.
But the automaker remains embroiled in its diesel scandal in Canada.
In September 2015, Volkswagen admitted that 11 million diesel-engine vehicles contained software designed to lower emissions during testing to levels considerably below those produced in normal operating conditions. About 105,000 of those cars were sold in Canada; Environment and Climate Change Canada has been investigating the company here for more than two years now.
Class action settlements in the United States and Canada have also been settled by the company with customers who purchased one of the vehicles in question, which included 2.0 litre and 3.0 litre diesel engines made by Volkswagen, Porsche and Audi.
The Canadian Press contributed to this report.