Volkswagen Of America: Barnes' New Job Not Noble

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt

At Volkswagen, the sales chief sits right next to God, or the CEO. Now imagine a sales chief that suddenly find himself with the title “Vice President of Customer Experience” and most likely with the responsibility to increase customer satisfaction like tomorrow – what would you do in his shoes? Polish your resume. This is what Mark Barnes likely is doing right now.

Having joined Volkswagen of America 4 years ago, Barnes is COO and head of sales. Not for much longer. Barnes will be replaced by GM veteran Frank Trivieri, effective Aug. 15. Automotive News [sub] says. Trivieri was brought in by Jonathan Browning, CEO of Volkswagen of America, himself a GM alumn. Trivieri was general director of sales for General Motors of Canada, Ltd.

Browning does everything to talk up the new job to which Barnes has been demoted: “We know we need a systemic approach to better manage the entire customer experience within VW. Now that we’ve put actions in place to address the customer voice in the product development process, and built a strong quality organization, this is the next step in improving the foundation of our business.”

Great. We hear Barnes’ new responsibilities will include the Volkswagen Academy for dealer training, and customer activities ranging from the consumer affairs hotline to loyalty programs.

Get a new job, Mr. Barnes! When next year’s J.D.Power study comes out, your derriere will be on the line!

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  • Sundowner Sundowner on Aug 06, 2011

    okay, 1) both those guys are dorks. From listening to them speak, I don't know that I'd trust either of them with a loaded handgun or a ham sandwich. 2) If the JSW problem rate is 1 per vehicle, that means that there are 19 other owners of 2010 vehicles out there with trouble free cars, because mine sucked 3) they're right that diesel wagons just make sense. My JSW had EVERYTHING it needed to be a perfect car, but the friggin thing never worked right.

  • Forraymond Forraymond on Aug 06, 2011

    Has anyone who ever worked for GM ever done anything that did/does not suck?

    • See 5 previous
    • Mpresley Mpresley on Aug 07, 2011

      @Syke G2H:John DeLorean made it pretty damn high. That's what a suitcase full of coke will do for you.

  • Dadude53 Dadude53 on Aug 07, 2011

    GM People at VWoA.Reminds me of James Mclernon, first manufacturing president of the VW Westmoreland plant in `78.Virtually killed the Rabbit by softening it way beyond it`s original German appearance.

  • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Aug 07, 2011

    It might be popular to throw stones at a GM transplanted manager, but TTAC is that the auto industry has lots of cross-pollination. My concern is that Mr. Barnes' job is all uphill. I'm convinced that the widespread nature of VW's quality problems means that the trouble is rooted in design issues, not workmanship. This will take years to undo, and I doubt that a "customer satisfaction" manager can effect change in the design center.