IT’s not been the easiest of starts for Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles Director Cian O’Brien having taken up his role between lockdowns last July.

The market and operating conditions could not have been further from his previous roles as Chief Operating Officer for Audi in the US and, before that, as sales chief of a high flying Audi UK.

“It’s certainly been difficult,” he said. “The LCV market was down 22% last year and we were down by 10,000 units over 2019, a dip of around 24%. But actually, that was not too bad given that we had the run-out of some models plus a production shortages caused by the pandemic.”

There is cause for optimism, however. O’Brien said the van sector is still strong, showing some good sales figures from the beginning of this year. He added: “While the car market is down 40%, LCVs have stayed flat. The Crafter has been a real strength for us and we are looking forward to some really good new product over the next few months.

These will include new Caddy and Amarok as well as the next generation T17.