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New sales director for Renault Australia

Driving force: David Rodda is charged with “leading and driving the sales performance of the Renault brand” as the company looks to stem its current sales decline with new models such as the Kadjar mid-size SUV due next month.

Fresh start for former Inchcape exec Rodda as Renault reinstates sales director role

7 Oct 2019

EXPERIENCED automotive industry executive David Rodda has joined Renault Australia as sales director.


Mr Rodda has worked for some 25 years in the Australian car industry, most notably at distribution, retail and logistics specialist Inchcape Australasia – which handles Subaru and PSA Group’s Peugeot and Citroen brands – where he held a variety of key positions across both OEM and retail operations.


These roles included four years as dealer principal of the Inchcape-run Subaru dealerships in Melbourne and, over the past year, franchise director in charge of various dealerships in the group across Subaru, PSA Group and Trivett Automotive.


In announcing his appointment, Renault Australia said this most recent role has seen Mr Rodda lead “the strategic and operational results of up to 15 retail sites, across all facets of the business including new and used sales, fleet, aftersales, finance and insurance and retail marketing” – experience will clearly prove valuable in the new role at Renault.


Mr Rodda also spent a year as regional manager for Subaru Australia in Queensland, having moved to Inchcape in December 2014 after some four-and-a-half years in a similar position with Hyundai Motor Company Australia, which saw him based at HMCA’s northern region office and responsible for area sales across metropolitan Brisbane.


Earlier in his career, Mr Rodda served for Mercedes-Benz Australia/Pacific in Brisbane for about eight years, three as business development manager for Mercedes-Benz passenger cars across Queensland and the Northern Territory, and five years in retail as a customer service adviser.


He started his career as an apprentice technician at Toowoomba Holden, working his way up through the ranks as a service technician and then customer service adviser.


At Renault Australia, Mr Rodda is charged with “leading and driving the sales performance of the Renault brand nationally, with the objective of achieving commercial objectives for the business, namely volume and profit objectives”.


The company has advised that managing director Anouk Poelmann, who joined in May and previously worked for Inchcape as head of Peugeot Citroen Australia, decided to re-establish the position after a period of absence.


Ms Poelmann’s predecessor, Andrew Moore, absorbed responsibility for the role early in 2018 when former sales chief Mark Palavestra left the company to become sales director of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) Australia.


“I am delighted to welcome David to the Renault Australia family,” Ms Poelmann said in a statement. “David joins Renault Australia at a key time with a new business focus and new product line-up – led by the release of Kadjar – commencing in the coming months.


“David’s vast experience at all levels of the dealership landscape in Australia will be an invaluable asset to Renault Australia and I am looking forward to the impact his appointment will have on the Renault brand here in Australia.”


As the new-vehicle market contracts this year, Renault’s sales have fallen sharply by 24.2 per cent to 5942 units to the end of September, which is 1894 units fewer than it had posted at the same point last year.


The company said Mr Rodda will “hold responsibility for strategic and operational requirements across retail, fleet, used vehicles and customer satisfaction in partnership with Renault Australia’s marketing and aftersales divisions”.


For his part, Mr Rodda said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to join the Renault Australia team during such an exciting time for the brand.


“I look forward to continuing to build strong partnerships with the retail network, collaborate with the executive team and lead the business management team to deliver further success for all stakeholders to meet our mutual objectives.”

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