Rob Whalley has left MSX International 17 months after being appointed managing director of its UK and Nordic operations.
His replacement, Felix Serrano, takes on the position as an expansion of his existing role as MD of Spain and Portugal.
Officially, Whalley has “left to pursue other opportunities”, according to MSX. Whalley would only add that he was on “gardening leave”.
Serrano, appointed on October 5, has been with MSX for 13 years.
He says he intends to take advantage of synergies between the UK and Spain and to leverage some of his success in Spain, including growing MSX’s representation with franchised dealers and broadening the number of its manufacturer partners.
“In Spain and Portugal we have relationships with a lot of dealers and this is an area where we see opportunities in the UK,” he said.
Serrano will adopt some initiatives that have been successful in Spain, including customer lead management and dealer business improvement programmes for sales and aftersales.
In continental Europe, MSX’s relationships with manufacturers give it representation with dealers. In the UK, dealers tend to be larger and more independent of the manufacturers, Serrano said.
“They have more control and this needs a different approach from us,” he added. “We will need to deal with them directly.”
MSX works with several manufacturers on a pan- European basis, but this often does not include the UK, which is “treated as a different market by most OEMS”.