VW U.S. Sales Chief Trivieri Gone After Sales Decline in a Growing Market

TTAC Staff
by TTAC Staff
vw u s sales chief trivieri gone after sales decline in a growing market

Following the departure of Volkswagen Group of America CEO Jonathan Browning, VW of America has disclosed that another high executive will be leaving the company. According to Automotive News, Frank Trivieri, the Volkswagen brand’s executive vice president of sales since 2011 is no apparently history at the company. Trivieri, 51, leaves VW following a year in which VW’s U.S. sales declined 7% in a market that grew by 8%, amid reports of strained relationships with American dealers.

U.S. VW dealers were not happy with a revised “stair-step” bonus program that Trivieri initiated last year, which tied profits on new car sales to hitting specified sales targets.

VW informed dealers of Trivieri’s impending departure in a letter released in advance of the National Automobile Dealers Convention, which was held in New Orleans this weekend.

“Prior to our meetings at [NADA], we would like to inform you that Frank Trivieri, Executive Vice President of Sales, has elected to leave Volkswagen of America effective January 31, 2014,” VW said in the letter, signed by VW of America COO Mark McNabb. “We would like to take this opportunity to thank Frank for his passion, dedication, commitment and for the numerous contributions he has made to the Volkswagen brand over the past 2.5 years.”

Trivieri’s replacement was not immediately announced. A VW spokesperson confirmed his departure from the company but wouldn’t comment beyond saying, “He will be missed by all of us who interacted with him on a regular basis.”

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  • Mjz Mjz on Jan 27, 2014

    The bloom is off the rose in VW's attempt to be Toyota/Honda. After the initial sales boom, sales are starting to flounder because VW has turned off their traditional buyers, and cannot offer the reliability and reputation that a Toyota/Honda buyer is looking for. They need to reposition themselves again as the "People's" BMW/Mercedes. Affordable, fun to drive cars for those who aspire to a BMW/Mercedes, but can't swing it right now. THOSE customers will be willing to put up with VW's less than stellar reputation for quality and reliability, in order to acquire the German driving experience at an affordable price. The current NA versions of the Jetta and Passat are just dull appliances lacking the quality/relaibilty creds to play with the big boys.

    • Felix Hoenikker Felix Hoenikker on Jan 27, 2014

      Amen brother. I rented a 2013 Jetta last fall. It was completely underwhelming.

  • Vvk Vvk on Jan 27, 2014

    Ze Germans will be in for a rude awakening when a glut of lease returns forces them to write off billions in residual adjustments. The first wave is coming this fall when the B7 Passat turns 3 years old. I have been trying to sell my 2012 Passat for months. NOBODY wants these things. I am so glad my Passat is leased!

    • TMA1 TMA1 on Jan 27, 2014

      That sounds extremely frustrating. I take it you won't be buying/leasing another VW?

  • JSF22 JSF22 on Jan 27, 2014

    VW can continue to cycle through top managers every two or three years just like it always has, or it could admit the problem and do something about it: the product just isn't what people want. This isn't another rant about quality. I've owned VWs and only rarely had trouble, and my dealer experience has really been no more frustrating than with any other brand. But with the new Jetta and Passat, they went ultra conservative when everyone else was going expressive. The Fusion, Avalon, and Altima make the Passat look ten years old. (And in that light metallic blue they painted most of the ones they sent to the Emerald Aisle, it looks like it's straight out of 1966.) People who like how VW's always drove won't like the Jetta and Passat because they don't drive like that anymore. People attracted to boring sedans that aren't anything special to drive are people who also want to make sure their cars don't give them any grief, so they will keep making the equally boring but safer choice of a Toyota, Honda, Nissan, or Hyundai. The interior fittings of the Jetta and Passat look and feel cheap, and the in-car electronics are to laugh at. VW has nothing to offer in the hottest market segment, a reasonably priced three-row crossover. VW clearly has the money to fix all this and with 500,000 employees must have the engineering resources somewhere to do it. So, I can only conclude they just don't want to. Fine, but then stop making us laugh with the ridiculous talk of selling 800,000 cars a year here.

    • See 1 previous
    • JSF22 JSF22 on Jan 28, 2014

      @mjz You are so right. Whoever runs VW's fleet department must be a total moron. Nobody who rents or even sees those strippers they send to daily rental, with their dog dish wheel covers and black rubber window trim, let alone getting inside and seeing that prison-spec fabric, would ever remotely consider buying or recommending one. On the other hand, every new Impala I've rented has been a well equipped leather-seat LTZ, and I'm impressed. VW has dug this hole for themselves and I will be surprised if they climb out this time.

  • Gglockster Gglockster on Jan 27, 2014

    No surprises here, VW just needs to fire the rest of US Corporate. There is a reason why rental car fleets don't bother with VW: too many hassles. As far as the market being flooded with off lease VW's, hardly. Most of them are going to the junk yard to be parted out. 1. VW corporate defines arrogance. 2. VW dealers define poor sales. 3. VW service define abusive customer service. The only positive thing VW has going for it is a good small diesel. The best thing for VW to do is to pull out of the NA market and license their small diesel's to "real" car companies that need to make US CAFE standards. My wife drives a Chrysler and she keeps rolling her eyes at the ongoing tales of woe with my Jetta TDi. I will never buy another VW and I advise everyone to not even bother with the brand. When I need a new car, I'll consider a diesel but never a VW.