At BMW, Wortmann, 52, was a contender to replace BMW’s long-serving sales chief, Ian Robertson, when he retired in 2017. BMW instead hired outsider Pieter Nota from Dutch electronics and lighting company Philips. Wortmann was reassigned to be head of BMW’s Asia Pacific region excluding China.
BMW last month appointed former Daimler executive Jens Thiemer to Wortmann’s former role as head of brand management. Thiemer succeeded Sven Schuwirth, who left BMW in May. German media reports said Schuwirth is returning to Audi, his former employer.
Audi once targeted becoming the top-selling global premium brand but now trails rivals Mercedes-Benz and BMW. Audi’s global vehicle sales fell by 2.4 percent to 1.65 million in the first 11 months of 2018. Mercedes was the best-selling luxury brand though November with vehicle sales of 2.1 million, a year-on-year rise of 0.4 percent. BMW brand increased its sales by 1.8 percent to 1.92 million.