Mitsubishi’s Gardiner to lead VW of America marketing

Volkswagen of America has hired industry veteran Kimberley Gardiner away from Mitsubishi to be its new head of marketing.

Gardiner, 52, will become senior vice president for brand marketing at Volkswagen effective Nov. 16, the automaker said. She replaces Saad Chehab, 53, who left Volkswagen in May after nine months on the job.

Gardiner has been an auto marketing manager for more than two decades, most recently working as chief marketing officer at Mitsubishi Motors North America. She previously led marketing efforts at Kia Motors, and was chief marketing officer and vice president of operations for 5th Kind, a global digital asset management company. She began her automotive career with Toyota in 1999.

Gardiner also is on Automotive News’ list of 100 Leading Women in the North American Auto Industry.

In her new role with the Volkswagen brand, she will report to Duncan Movassaghi, executive vice president for sales and marketing for VW in the U.S. She joins as the brand is preparing to launch its new Taos compact crossover and the ID4, a battery-electric compact crossover, in the U.S.

“These are exciting times at Volkswagen and I’m confident Kimberley is the person to lead the brand into this new era as we expand our portfolio and bring EVs to the masses,” Movassaghi said in a statement. “Her expertise in launching new, innovative automotive products and her strong background in building and leading brands will set Volkswagen apart as we move into our electric future.”

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