Porsche Holding Salzburg takes over as importer of Volkswagen Group brands in Portugal
- Takeover of SIVA successfully completed
- PHS builds on SIVA's decades of experience
All 650 employees in wholesale and retail retained
Salzburg, 21 October 2019 - Porsche Holding Salzburg (PHS), Europe's largest automotive distribution company, took over the Portuguese Importeur Sociedade de Importacão de Veiculos Automitiveis (SIVA) on 15 October 2019, assuming market responsibility for the Volkswagen Passenger Cars, Volkswagen Light Commercial Vehicles, Audi, ŠKODA, Bentley and Lamborghini brands in Portugal. At the same time, SOAUTO, the importer's own retail business with eleven retail dealerships in Lisbon and Porto, was transferred to PHS.
In today's press conference, Dr Hans Peter Schützinger, CEO of the PHS Management Board, referred back to PHS's roots as a family business in Austria, when they started importing Volkswagens 70 years ago. The opening up of the east at the start of the 1990s offered new opportunities for PHS, and its international growth began with the gradual takeover of market responsibility for the countries in the CEE region. Since 2011 PHS has been a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG and has been contributing to Volkswagen Group's global sales with its decades of experience in automotive retail. "We have always kept our feet firmly on the ground with a strong focus on our customers. In that respect, nothing has changed over the many years", stressed Dr Schützinger.
He highlighted the achievements of the traditional importer company, SIVA, adding: "We are looking forward to our new endeavour in Portugal. The team here are strong and competent, and we will share our international sales experience with them so we can work together to lead SIVA back to the successes of previous years."
SIVA and SOAUTO currently employ 650 members of staff, all of whom will be taken on by PHS. It will be drawing on the experience of the existing management. Pedro de Almeida, member of the previous Management Board of SIVA, will lead the importer as Managing Director together with Viktoria Kaufmann-Rieger. V. Kaufmann-Rieger has already gained international management experience in PHS wholesale and previously worked as Managing Director in Colombia
"This is a very important moment for the future of SIVA. It gives us the opportunity to put our trade organisation back on track with the best brands, the best teams and now the best automotive distribution company", highlighted Pedro de Almeida.
And Viktoria Kaufmann-Rieger added, "With the financial strength of PHS we can begin a new chapter of SIVA in Portugal. In the future we are planning to invest in our current business model and in our business partners, as well as in new and future mobility solutions. Our focus is on a long-term, economic and sustainable growth strategy for our entire business."
Rainer Schroll, Executive Member of the PHS Board responsible for retail, highlighted the continued significance of retail and announced that over the next few years more than 20 million euros would be invested in the development and modernisation of the SOAUTO retail dealerships, as well as in their IT systems. "We will be setting up a new multi-brand establishment in Lisbon, demonstrating how seriously we take this new commitment in Portugal", he explained.
José Duarte will continue to be responsible for the SOAUTO retail business as Managing Director, together with Mario De Martino, whose business career also began at PHS and who was previously Head of Finance in Chile.
SIVA was founded in 1987 as an importer for the Volkswagen and Audi brands, which were joined by ŠKODA in 1992 and later on by Bentley and Lamborghini. In the past over 30,000 new vehicles were sold per year - 5,000 of these by SOAUTO's own retailers.
Porsche Holding Salzburg: Salzburg-based Porsche Holding GmbH has been a wholly-owned subsidiary of Volkswagen AG since 1 March 2011, managing automotive wholesale and retail operations and providing financial services as well as IT system development. The company was founded in 1949 and currently operates in 29 countries including Austria, West and Southeast Europe, Colombia, Chile, China, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei and Japan. In 2018 it supplied 743,000 new cars to customers and had 30,900 employees.