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Current Audi Australia managing director Andrew Doyle will head to the United Kingdom in April, where he will take over as director of Audi UK.

Paul Sansom has been announced as Doyle’s successor at Audi Australia, coming to the role after working as managing director of Audi South Africa since 2014.

The news comes after an announcement in October last year that Doyle’s replacement here would be Cian O’Brien, who had been acting director of Audi UK at the time.

O’Brien has since been posted to a different, unspecified role within the global Audi organisation.

Sansom (below) started his career with Jaguar in 2001, as national fleet sales manager for the brand’s UK office. He joined the Volkswagen Group in 2003 and became Audi UK sales manager in 2006.

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A promotion to Audi UK aftersales and customer service director came in 2009, and then to sales director in 2012. Audi notes that the company became the UK’s best-selling premium brand in the same time.

Doyle came to the role of Audi Australia managing director in 2013, after filling the same role at Audi Ireland. Here, he set a target of surpassing BMW and Mercedes-Benz in sales by 2020 or sooner.

If that remains the goal, Sansom will have his work cut out for him. Year to date (end of February figures, March due next week), Audi had registered 3736 vehicles in Australia. BMW was just ahead on 4110, while Mercedes-Benz sat comfortably in front of its traditional rivals with 6392 sales.

Audi finished 2016 on 24,258 sales (up 5 per cent), while BMW saw 12 per cent growth with a 28,028 total. Again, Mercedes-Benz flew well out in front with 41,226 sales – a 13 per cent increase.

Audi will be looking to its new Q2 SUV to boost sales, while new-generation A5 and Q5 models will also help to lift its market share.

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