Mike Whitfield, Nissan SA’s director of sales and marketing, is to join Nissan Europe, where he will head up the Scandinavian operation.

Mike Whitfield, Nissan SA’s director of sales and marketing, is to join Nissan Europe, where he will head up the Scandinavian operation.

He assumes his new position from the start of next year, and his area of control will include Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Norway.

Whitfield joined the company in 1981 as a marketing trainee. He was appointed a director in 1999. Current general manager of sales, and former general manager of marketing, Roel de Vries, will take over from Whitfield.

Meanwhile, it was recently announced that Johan de Nysschen, president of Audi Japan, would replace Audi of America's disgraced head, Axel Mees. De Nyscchen will assume his new position on January 1, and one of his key responsibilities will be reversing Audi of America's recent sales slump.

De Nyscchen, a South African national, was general manager for sales and marketing for Audi South Africa before being promoted to head up operations in Japan.

Mees last month publicly criticised the Phaeton in a press gathering when he said that the ultra-luxury vehicle was not meeting its sales targets because Volkswagen "underestimated the weakness of the VW brand in the luxury market".

Local automotive executives are making a considerable impact on the international manufacturer scene. Last week, BMW SA managing director, Ian Robertson, was named the new chairman and chief executive of BMW's Rolls-Royce division. He takes up his new post at the Goodwood-based operation on February 1, 2005.