Responsibility for importing, distributing, retailing and servicing Volkswagen, Audi, Skoda and Volkswagen commercial vehicles in Ireland changed hands today (1 October).

The transfer from O´Flaherty Holdings to Volkswagen AG followed an agreement reached between the two firms in January 2007.

Former Kia UK and Ssangyong UK executive Paul Willis took up his new post as managing director of Volkswagen Group Ireland today as the new importer named its board of management: Paul Burke, director of Volkswagen commercial vehicles; Fintan Knight, director of Audi; Colin Sheridan, director of Skoda; Philip Sheridan, director of Volkswagen passenger cars; Andreas Duebler, director of group service; and Wolfgang Weisse, chief financial officer. John Hayes was named deputy director of Audi and Tom O'Connor deputy director of VW cars.

"Our vision for the group in Ireland is straightforward; first class levels of customer service and satisfaction, development of our individual brand values and expansion of the market shares of our brands. We have a first class team in place at all levels to build on the solid foundations which have been laid over many years" Willis said.

Ireland is an increasingly important market for the group with year to date sales of 31,567 vehicles and a market share of 17.9%.

"For Volkswagen AG the transfer of the import business demonstrates a clear commitment to the Irish market," the automaker said.