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Audi-VW Korea chief named head of foreign carmaker association

SEOUL, Oct. 28 (Yonhap) -- Audi Volkswagen Korea Group Managing Director Rene Koneberg has been named the head of South Korea's imported vehicle association, the association said Wednesday.

Koneberg has been serving as vice chairman of the Korea Automobile Importers and Distributors Association (KAIDA) since 2018.

His appointment comes months after KAIDA suspended Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (FCA) Korea President Pablo Rosso from his KAIDA chairman position over alleged sexual misconduct in July.

Koneberg began his career at Volkswagen Group in 2000 and moved to Korea to manage the group's Korean operations in September 2017. He will serve as KAIDA chairman until March 2022.

The 52-year-old German native is a "competent" person who will seek sustainable growth within the rapid paradigm shifts in the auto industry driven by electrification and digitalization, based on his experience and insights in various markets, including Europe, the Middle East, China and Hong Kong, KAIDA said in a statement.

"The post-pandemic and ensuing contact-free culture is demanding an increased level of interactions among various stakeholders in complying with the local regulations. I will strive to contribute to the development of the imported car industry through active communication and interactions among member companies," the new chairman said in the statement.

From January to September, foreign carmakers sold 191,747 vehicles, up 15 percent from 167,093 in the same period of last year.

Imported brands accounted for 19 percent of the Korean passenger vehicle market in August, up from 15 percent a year ago.

KAIDA has 21 imported carmaker members, which are composed of 16 passenger car brands and five commercial vehicle brands.

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Source: Yonhap News (Oct 28, 2020)

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