Toyota Exec Named Audi of America COO

Mark Del Rosso Part of Team That Helped Develop Scion

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DETROIT ( -- Audi of America has hired Mark Del Rosso, 43, to be chief operating officer and oversee sales, market strategy, vehicle distribution, corporate sales and certified-pre-owned-vehicle sales.

Mr. Del Rosso had been at Toyota Motor Sales USA, where he was general manager of Toyota Division's Portland, Ore., region for less than a year. He will report to Audi of America Exec VP Johan de Nysschen, a spokesman told Advertising Age.

"Mark Del Rosso is the ideal candidate to lead Audi's field team," Mr. de Nysschen said in a prepared statement. "Mark brings a wealth of knowledge in dealing directly with dealers and customers. And he has the business savvy gained from more than 15 years of field and corporate experience."

Mr. Nysschen created the COO position in June 2006, but the first to hold that title at the company, Tom Del Franco, left the automaker in 2007.

Up the ladder
Mr. Del Rosso joined Toyota in 1991 and moved up the ladder to a variety of marketing and field positions for the Toyota and Lexus brands. In 1998, he headed Toyota's eight-member Genesis Youth Project, which developed a youth brand strategy for Toyota that led to the creation of its Scion sub-brand.

Mr. Del Rosso, who lives in Portland, will assume his duties in Auburn Hills, Mich., pending the move of Audi's headquarters to Herndon, Va., scheduled for June.

Audi said its 270 dealers sold 93,506 vehicles in the U.S. during 2007, nearly 5,400 more than in 2006.
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