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Experience counts: Brett Waudby spent several years managing the Mini brand in New Zealand, while his most recent posting saw him responsible for sales across the entire Asia-Pacific region.

MINI Australia’s new general manager Brett Waudby presided over his first Australian media launch this week as the BMW-owned British brand presented its updated hatch and convertible models.

Mr Waudby took the reins in April, filling the vacancy created two months earlier when Tony Sesto became general manager of marketing for BMW Group Australia, replacing Stuart Jaffray who left the company after more than a decade of service.

A Brit who has spent almost 10 years with the BMW Group, much of that in New Zealand, Mr Waudby previously spent two years as regional sales manager for the Mini brand across the Asia-Pacific, South Africa and Middle East region.

Based at BMW’s headquarters in Munich, Mr Waudby was jointly responsible for managing the business-related activities – sales, planning and profit targets – for Mini across the region, which includes Australia and New Zealand.

He moved into the regional role in April 2016 after spending several years in senior positions at BMW Group New Zealand.

These included about a year as Mini sales and brand manager, 18 months as Mini sales development manager and almost four years as an area manager with BMW Financial Services.

Prior to that, Mr Waudby had worked in the broader finance sector in New Zealand, including almost four years as a sales manager for Geneva Finance and three years as business development manager with Senate Finance.

Mr Waudby’s role as regional sales manager for Mini across the entire region gave him first-hand experience with the Australian market, working with BMW Group Australia chief executive Marc Werner.

As reported, Mr Werner has also just added responsibility for the Mini brand across BMW Group’s Asia-Pacific, South Africa, Russia and Importer Markets, effective July 1.

As regional director for the Mini brand and continuing as BMW Group Australia CEO, Mr Werner reports to BMW Group Asia-Pacific senior vice-president Hildegard Wortmann and Mini senior vice-president Sebastian Mackensen.

Mini sales in Australia are up 12.6 per cent this year after six months of trading, with 2184 sales recorded for the period.

The Countryman (593 units, +95.7%) and Clubman (274, +16.1%) are responsible for the upturn, while the company will be looking for improvements from the Cabrio (175, -8.4%) and top-selling Hatch (1142, -5.5%) now the facelifted models have arrived.

By Terry Martin