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Injured Audi chief heads home

Down and out: Audi Australia’s managing director Uwe Hagen will be replaced as he concentrates on recuperating from a motorcycle crash.

Audi Australia MD Uwe Hagen returns to Germany to recover from motorcycle crash

Audi logo11 Jan 2013

A SERIOUS motorcycle accident has ended Audi Australia managing director Uwe Hagen’s tenure in Australia.

Mr Hagen, who is believed to have broken both legs and suffered several other injuries in a collision with a car in Tasmania in October, is headed back to his native Germany next week to continue his recovery from his injuries.

The Audi boss will be replaced in Australia, with the new boss expected to be named soon. Until then, Audi Australia board chairman André Konsbruck will hold the reins.

Mr Hagen, a keen motorcyclist who has ridden widely around the world in his two-wheel adventures, ironically owned a BMW motorcycle but was riding a hired machine when he had the accident.

Although he has not been able to attend Audi Australia’s office in Sydney full-time since the crash, he has been in contact by phone and email.

Mr Hagen replaced Joerg Hofman as MD in Australia in March 2010, overseeing 40 per cent sales growth since then, although sales growth flat-lined in 2012.

The past three years have been punctuated with the launches of 20 new or significantly upgraded Audi models – a spree that continues this year with the arrival of models such as the RS4 Avant and all-new A3.

A one-time BMW employee, Mr Hagen joined Audi in 1990, becoming the head of Audi sales for the western German region where he took the four-ring brand to number one before coming to Australia.

He is the second head of an Australian car brand to be replaced this week, with fellow Volkswagen Group member Skoda yesterday announcing a new director for its Australian operations.

Mr Hagen is not the first car company chief to run into grief on a motorcycle in Australia, with Chrysler Jeep Australia’s managing director Gerry Jenkins losing a leg in a collision with a LandCruiser in 2003.

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