A record 9,155 Audis were sold in the Middle East last year, putting it a mere sixteen cars behind Porsche. It was the seventh year of record sales, excluding the global financial crisis impact in 2009 and 2010. But the company remains firmly on the accelerator, intent on smashing the 10,000 barrier for the first time this year and lifting the Middle East into the company’s top 20 markets.
From there, it aims to double sales in the region in just seven years to 20,000 cars.
That’s where Hill comes in. The South African has led massive sales growth in China – now the company’s top market – Germany and most recently Korea.
Since Hill left his mark, Audi has become the number-one sold car in China and Germany for the first time.
The high achiever, who played international hockey before joining Audi’s Johannesburg office 20 years ago, is unfamiliar with failing.
And he is confident of repeating his success in the Middle East, hoping to increase sales here by “at least” 50 per cent in what he expects to be a five-year tenure.
Hill tells Arabian Business that improving the “unsatisfactory” quality of sales service and procedures in the region was the first step towards domination.
“I want to focus on every single dealer in every single country in the region [to improve their] professionalism,” he says.
“The dealers have to bring up their quality level in terms of structures and policies.
“Dealers are not professional enough for my [liking]. It’s been very sales-focused in the past, just shifting out sales, sales, sales, [with] not that much quality.”
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