Australian Martin Benders, who has worked for Mazda since 1985, has become the new sales chief for Mazda Motor Europe, the company announced on Tuesday.

He takes up his job as vice president for European sales operations with immediate effect, reporting to CEO Phil Waring.

Benders, 58, a fluent Dutch speaker, started his automotive career as administration manager for Mazda Australia, holding various executive positions, including regional sales manager and national marketing director as the unit became one of Mazda’s strongest national sales companies.

His most recent position was general manager of the global marketing division at Mazda headquarters in Japan.

Waring described Benders as having “a well-deserved reputation in the motor industry for developing and implementing sales and marketing strategies that deliver outstanding results. He possesses the ability and experience to do an outstanding job managing our national sales company organisation on a daily basis, and I am confident that he will be successful at maximising our sales performance.”