Ms Warburton’s appointment fills the gap left by former marketing and public relations boss Anna Burgdorf who left the company in early July. Ms Burgdorf added the responsibility of marketing to her PR role in November last year after general manager of marketing Kevin Goult left Audi after five years.
From 1994 to 1999, Ms Warburton was the general manager of marketing at Astre Automotive Group, which, at the time, was the Australian importer of Audi, as well as other brands including Hyundai, Chrysler and Jeep.
More recently, Ms Warburton was the group director at Austar United Communications with responsibility for product, sales and marketing functions from 2001 until it was sold to Foxtel in 2012.
Ms Warburton received eight ASTRA Awards during her time at Austar for effective and outstanding consumer campaigns to drive sales, retention or community connection.
Following her time at Austar, Ms Warburton spent time raising her two children.
Ms Warburton is currently the foundation board executive patron of the Taronga Conservation Society Australia, as well as a director of the foundation board of SHORE School in Sydney and part of the Women In TV mentoring program.
Audi Australia managing director Paul Sansom said Ms Warburton was an “outstanding candidate” and added that her experience was ideal for the role.
“Nikki’s track record and breadth of experience speaks volumes about what she is capable of, and she already knows the Audi brand very well,” he said. “She is no stranger to many of our key customers and dealers, which positions her very well to lead our marketing team as we focus on lifting the profile of the Audi brand to even greater heights.”
Ms Warburton said she was excited to be returning to the Audi fold and keen to show off some of the company’s upcoming product.
“Audi is an incredible brand and I feel privileged to lead the next phase with Paul and the leadership team at Audi, as well as the Audi national dealer network,” she said.
“The automotive industry is my passion and I am thrilled to be returning. I’m excited to again be a part of such a sophisticated and innovative brand, with some exceptional new product that I am looking forward to showcasing in front of Australian consumers.”
Ms Warburton’s appointment is the latest personnel move at Audi Australia which has seen a number of sales and marketing changes in the past year.
Former Toyota Australia executive Grant Barling took over as the national sales director, replacing another former Toyota executive Brad Cramb who was in the role for a matter of months.
Former BMW executive Shawn Ticehurst moved across to Audi in November last year, taking on the role of product planning director.
By Tim Nicholson