“Thomas Owsianski is an acknowledged sales expert and well acquainted with China, making him the best choice to continue the Audi success story in China,” says Board Member for Finance Alexander Seitz, who from September 1, 2018 will also be assuming responsibility on the Board of Management of AUDI AG for the strategic development of the China business. “We would like to thank Joachim Wedler for having vigorously promoted Audi’s growth trajectory in our biggest sales market. We will still be able to draw on Joachim Wedler’s expertise until the final quarter. We are particularly grateful to him for that.”
From 2014 to 2016, Thomas Owsianski was Executive Director at SAIC Volkswagen Automotive Co., Ltd. with responsibility for Sales and Marketing for the Skoda brand. Prior to that Owsianski, who hails from Lower Saxony, Germany, held senior positions in Sales and Marketing in Europe and the United States, including at Ford Motor Company and General Motors. Owsianski joined the Volkswagen Group in 2012 as Head of Global Marketing for Skoda.
Joachim Wedler took over as President of Audi China in 2015. In 2017 and again in the first half of 2018, Audi sales figures reached new record levels in China. As the highest-ranking representative of AUDI AG in China, Wedler has been instrumental in advancing the brand’s two-partner strategy. Together with the partners of the Four Rings, he has defined the parameters for the planned cooperation with SAIC and expanded the successful partnership with FAW. The agreements reached include more than doubling the Audi product portfolio in China over the coming years, along with the localization of seven new SUV versions and five new energy vehicles.
Detailed improvements to the suspension and engine of the Audi S1 EKS RX quattro proved viable in tests at Höljes and Riga. Now they are intended to assist the two Audi drivers, Mattias Ekström and Andreas Bakkerud, in the season’s first overseas round as well. The street circuit in the Franco-Canadian city of Trois-Rivières 125 km north-east of Montreal has made for many spectacular scenes in recent years. “Canada has the longest straight of the season on which we’re more than 200 km/h fast,” says Audi factory driver Mattias Ekström, who views braking in front of the subsequent turn as a true challenge: “It’s a real humdinger because we arrive there at such high speed. I like the track even though I haven’t scored big time there yet.” Ekström suffered a lot of misfortune in his previous rounds in Canada. Having started there three times, he made it into the finale only once. The Swede’s best result was sixth place in the 2015 season.
His teammate, Andreas Bakkerud, is traveling to Canada as the runner-up in the World RX and has been on podium once at Trois-Rivières, in 2016. “Even so, I haven’t really unlocked all the track’s secrets,” the Audi driver admits. “Confirming my speed from the season’s first six races in Canada will be no mean feat. After a four-week break, I’m now all fired up again to contest another race. I know that EKS has always been fast at Trois-Rivières.”
For the first time, the race on Sunday (August 5) will be broadcast live from Canada starting at 8.45 PM (CEST) by SPORT1. The TV channel has secured the exclusive FIA World Rallycross Championship broadcasting rights for Germany, Austria and Switzerland up to and including 2019. Online, the sports channel will begin live streaming of the event on sport1.de at 8 PM (CEST).