VDA Realignment of Communication

    VDA Realignment concerning the Department of Communication

    Berlin, February 19, 2024

    Simon Schütz takes over management of press and digital department - Janis Eitner becomes head of communication and marketing department

    The Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) has restructured its communication and divided it into two areas: 'Communication and Marketing' under the direction of Janis Eitner and 'Press and Digital' under the direction of Simon Schütz. In this way, the VDA is reacting proactively to the growing requirements and challenges that arise from digitalization, electrification, sustainability and global market changes for internal and external communication.

    This strategic realignment aims to further strengthen the VDA brand and ensure an even more precise target group approach in order to offer members, partners and the public sustainable added value and to consolidate the association's position as a leading voice in the changing mobility landscape. Both department heads will take on their new functions from March 1st and will be responsible for the VDA's global communications and media work in their respective roles.

    The President of the VDA, Hildegard Müller, said: "I am very pleased that Simon Schütz, who has already done an excellent job as interim department head in recent months, will now take over the management of the Press and Digital Department. His communication expertise therefore remains a crucial support in the VDA's communication. I am also very pleased that we were able to win Janis Eitner, a proven communications expert, for the VDA. He brings both the industry knowledge and the international experience at corporate level that we need for the challenges of the future."

    Janis Eitner takes over the management of the 'Communication and Marketing' department and thus has global responsibility for IAA communication, industry communication, marketing, brand management, events, publications and audiovisual formats. Simon Schütz, former head of the VDA press office and interim department head, will now be responsible for the social media area in addition to his current tasks with the 'Press and Digital' department.

    Janis Eitner has more than 20 years of professional experience in various leading and management functions in the areas of agency, politics, technology development and industry with a focus on strategic communication, marketing, digital transformation and market communication. Most recently, he worked as Vice President Communications, Marketing & Brand at the German automotive supplier Webasto SE. In his new role, Janis Eitner will drive forward the further international development of communication and marketing of the VDA brand, the IAA trade fair events and campaign capabilities. He will work closely with the members, partners and stakeholders of the VDA to ensure the association's participation across society in the transformation of mobility in Germany and Europe.

    "I am very pleased to support the automotive industry as a whole in this challenging transformation into a sustainable future in my new role," says Janis Eitner and adds: "Together with the team, I will expand cooperation with our members, politicians and the general public. This way we will address pressing challenges across society and position our industry as an innovative pioneer that drives sustainable progress while at the same time meeting economic and social requirements."

    With his experience as a long-standing, internationally experienced journalist, Simon Schütz has successfully been responsible for and continuously developed the association's press work for the past three years. He made the association's communication more agile and, together with his team, modernized the association's various communication formats. As head of the press and digital department, in addition to managing the press office, he will now also be responsible for social media. Schütz will expand the VDA's digital presence and thus further increase its ability to engage in dialogue with the media and the public.

    "I am really looking forward to mastering the upcoming tasks together with my team. Clear communication is crucial for a successful transformation. The balance between constructive criticism and emphasizing our strengths, which we need to use and develop, is the key to success. We rely on constant open and constructive dialogue with all stakeholders in order to develop and strengthen the necessary trust and mutual understanding. Both are fundamentally important for long-term social support in times of great change," Schütz emphasizes.

    Press Office

    Simon Schütz

    Head & Spokesperson with focus on politics and society