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Renault Australia managing director Justin Hocevar is managing director no longer, with the company announcing his departure this week.

Hocevar’s exit comes as a surprise, having been expected to join Australian media at the Frankfurt motor show this week. The news follows the unexpected departure of his Renault Nissan Alliance counterpart at Nissan Australia, Richard Emery. As with Emery, no explanation has been offered for Hocevar leaving the business.

But, while Nissan has already confirmed ex-Infiniti Canada chief Stephen Lester as Emery’s replacement, Hocevar’s successor is still to be confirmed. Guillaume Sicard, Vice President of Marketing and Sales for Renault Asia-Pacific, will lead the Australian arm in the interim.

Hocevar joined Renault Australia in 2010, when the French car maker’s sales for the year topped only 1907 units – down from the previous year’s 2400. So far in 2017, the company has registered 7270 vehicles. Last year, the company topped 11,109 registrations.

“Justin has helped build Renault’s Australian market operations since 2010, culminating in local annual sales growth beyond the 11,000 unit mark, having successfully transitioned Renault’s Australian business from being an importer to a fully-fledged subsidiary of the Renault group,” Sicard said in a statement this week.

“Justin has steadily built Renault’s place in the Australian new-car market and has contributed in developing not only the public’s awareness of our brand, across our portfolio of passenger, commercial and Renault Sport products, but also our strong and committed network of dealers. The Renault team is thankful for his contribution to our brand and business development”.

Immediately before joining Renault, Hocevar was director of a canoeing and kayaking company, although roles more specific to the automotive space included area and national manager roles with BMW Motorrad, before becoming national manager for the Mini brand.

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