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Porsche names new boss for Australia

Returning home: Michael Bartsch is returning to Australia after eight years at the helm of Porsche’s North American operations.

Bartsch to return to Australia to lead Porsche as Winkler prepares for new move

13 May 2013

PORSCHE Cars Australia has announced the appointment of Michael Bartsch as its incoming managing director, effective September 1.

Replacing Michael Winkler, who has overseen the Australian operations since 1995 and will move to a still-to-be-specified new managing director role within the German sportscar manufacturer, Mr Bartsch will return Down Under from his current role as executive vice-president and chief operating officer at Porsche Cars North America.

A former sales and marketing director at Porsche Cars Australia, Mr Bartsch has been responsible for Porsche’s single biggest market since January 2005 and his role has included working at a global level on product planning and international marketing strategies.

The 54-year-old has more than three decades’ experience in the industry in a variety of retail and corporate environments.

Mr Bartsch’s involvement in Porsche began in 1984 when he joined York Motors in Sydney, and he later became director of Porsche Centre Melbourne.

 center imageFrom Top: Michael Winkler and the Porsche Macan concept.

Earlier in his career he served as marketing manager of product, planning, promotions and public relations for Hyundai Automotive Distributor Australia, the former independent distributor of the South Korean brand. (The factory took control of its operations here in September 2003.)At a regional level, Porsche China CEO Helmut Broeker will now take over leadership of the company’s ‘overseas and growth markets’ sales region, which includes Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South-East Asia, India, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East.

This position becomes effective July 1, and will see Mr Broeker trade places with Deesch Papke, who has managed the region for the past two years.

In a statement, Porsche described its management reshuffle as a “cross-regional exchange of experience and competencies” that forms part of Strategy 2018, its corporate plan that calls for sales growth to 200,000 units a year on the back of new volume-selling models such as the forthcoming Macan compact SUV. In Australia, Porsche sales are currently up 44 per cent this year to 590 units at the end of April, driven by an explosion of Boxster sales (up 439 per cent). The Cayenne SUV remains by far its biggest seller, with 363 new registrations so far this year (up 43 per cent).

As GoAuto has reported, the company is targeting significant sales growth from around the 1500 mark “in a good year” – last year it managed 1373, up 2.2 per cent on 2011 – to more than 2500 units when the Macan comes on stream in the first half of next year.

Mr Bartsch will be replaced at the crucial North American post by Porsche Canada managing director Joe Lawrence.

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