A board member at Volkswagen Financial Services (VWFS) will take charge of the group’s global vehicle sales following the retirement of Fred Kappler, a VW veteran with over thirty years’ experience.

Christian Dalheim, currently member of the board with responsibilities for sales, is to become head of group sales on October 1. Lars Henner Santerlmann, VWFS chairman, will take responsibility for financial services sales.

Dahlheim joined VWFS and the VW Group in 2005, as head of corporate development. He subsequently gained responsibility for expanding the financial services business in Europe and beyond, and eventually rose to become president and chief executive of VW Credit, the group’s North American financial arm.

Outgoing sales head Kappler joined the group in 1982, overseeing export markets including China. At the turn of the millennium, he took charge of sales for VW’s namesake brand and later Skoda. He then sales of parts and services before becoming head of group sales in 2016.

VWFS chairman Santelmann said: “Christian Dahlheim has been instrumental in driving digitalisation and the growth strategy forward at Volkswagen Financial Services. The company is fit for the future and will systematically continue its digitalisation efforts.”

Gunnar Kilian, VW Group board member with responsibility for human resources, said: “Fred Kappler has held numerous positions of responsibility in the Volkswagen Group for decades. We would like to thank him for so many years of exceptional achievements, particularly in sales.”