Tony Cervone, a veteran hand at automotive public relations, will take over responsibility for communications for Volkswagen Group in North America.
As Executive Vice President, Group Communications, Cervone will play a major role in shaping the German automaker’s image in the Americas at a time when VW intends to achieve some major growth.
Cervone, whose career has included long stints at Chrysler and General Motors, will report directly to Jonathan Browning, President and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, and will be a member of the company executive management team. Cervone’s appointment is effective immediately.
“I welcome Tony to our management team. In his 24 years in automotive communications, Tony has continually demonstrated communications leadership in this industry. I believe he will be a critical member of the team and will help drive the aggressive growth goals we are facing,” said Browning, who took over the VW Group position last year.
In his new role, Cervone will be responsible for all aspects of corporate communications. This includes corporate media relations, all public relations campaigns, community partnerships and philanthropy.
It is a critical time for Volkswagen. The maker has been growing fast and has set a goal of becoming the world’s largest automaker by 2018. But it continues to struggle in the U.S., where it has yet to match the peak sales volumes of the ‘60s and ‘70s. The goal is to reach a new record of 800,000 sales by 2018 – and that will require hitting a number of critical marques.