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Hawken leaves Skoda UK for Volkswagen Asia Pacific role

LONDON - Chris Hawken, marketing director of Skoda UK, is to join parent company Volkswagen where he will head up marketing for VW and Seat in Asia Pacific.

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The Singepore-based post, which is the most senior marketing position in the region, covers all countries in Asia Pacific except Japan. Hawken is due to start in early August.

Volkswagen and Seat are marketed separately in Asia Pacific.

In the UK, Hawken will be replaced by Mary Newcombe. Newcombe, whose current role is product marketing manager, has been working in the marketing department since November last year.

Hawken took over marketing for Skoda in 1999, eight years after Volkswagen bought the brand from the Czech government and began building the cars to Volkswagen's more exacting standards.

He is credited with turning around Skoda's image from being the punchline in gags about its low quality to a popular car.

He also oversaw the launch of the brand's humorous "It's a Skoda, honest" advertising, created by Fallon.

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