January 8, 2018 / 6:14 PM / a year ago

VW names Skoda UK executive to head U.S. sales as deliveries fall

A Volkswagen logo is pictured at the International Auto Show in Mexico City, Mexico November 23, 2017. REUTERS/Henry Romero

DETROIT (Reuters) - Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE) on Monday named a UK-based executive of Czech subsidiary Skoda to replace its former head of U.S. sales whose departure was announced at the weekend as the German automaker’s deliveries have plunged in the world’s second-largest auto market.

Duncan Movassaghi will start the job on Feb. 1, VW said in a statement. He has been serving as managing director of Skoda UK with full responsibility for the brand in the United Kingdom.

Movassaghi replaces Ron Stach, whose departure VW confirmed on Saturday. It declined to provide a reason for the move. [nL8N1P10C4]

VW said last Wednesday that its U.S. sales rose 5.2 percent to 339,676 brand models last year but plunged 19 percent in December after posting their first monthly drop in 2017 in November.

The world’s largest automaker by sales is keen to end losses in the United States by the end of the decade, counting on a series of higher-margin new models and structural changes as it struggles to draw a line under its diesel emissions test cheating scandal which broke in the United States in 2015. [nL1N1O61SZ]

Prior to joining VW in 2010, Movassaghi worked in the pharmaceutical retail and banking sectors, the automaker said.

Reporting by Nick Carey; Editing by Richard Chang

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