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The new chief commercial officer of VW Financial Services (VWFS) has vowed to help “get Britain moving again” in his new role.

Carl zu Dohna (pictured) has 20 years’ experience in automotive management and previously worked as director of VW Commercial Vehicles before taking the new role in May.

He said: “The auto finance sector has a responsibility to learn lessons from the past few months of lockdown and help get Britain moving again. The initial positive response by VWFS and others in the immediate aftermath of the pandemic must also be reflected in the ongoing coordinated response required to deal with the enormity of the economic challenge that lies ahead.

“While we will need to look at how our business operates in this new world, there is a responsibility to help our retailer networks as they begin to open up and rebuild their businesses.”

The industry did well in its response to the economic impact of the pandemic, zu Dohna said, and the overhaul on vehicle collections during times of restricted movement can represent a lesson to be learned.

He added: “We are mapping the customer journey and re-aligning our focus on how we deliver a great experience from end-to-end. This is vital work which can support our retailer networks. As a result, we are overlaying this with how the pandemic will influence and change the industry, how people buy cars and what might change for retailers.”

Reshaping products such as increased deposit contributions by retailers and no payments on new vehicles for the first three months will help the industry begin to engage customers once again. The right vehicle finance will be pivotal in enabling more workers in the UK to return to work.

VWFS predominantly deals with dealer and customer financing, leasing, bank and insurance business, fleet management and mobility offerings. The company reports total assets of around €223.5 billion, an operating result of €2.96 billion and a portfolio of around 21.5 million current contracts, as at the end of 2019.

Zu Dohna added: “It seems likely that we will live and work in parallel to this virus and its impact for some time to come, so the need to be agile and nimble enough to shape our products and services accordingly is essential to success.

“We are constantly looking to evolve our products and services to support our retail partners. We must anticipate this change carefully and adapt to how we can best support them.”

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