VIENNA – Austria-based Porsche Holding, Europe's largest car import and dealership group owned since March by Volkswagen Group, will begin importing VW-brand vehicles into Colombia starting Jan. 1.

The new import company Porsche Colombia, based in the capital city of Bogota, will take over from current importer Automotriz Interamericana.

Alin Tapalaga, previously general manager of Porsche’s Romanian retailer Porsche Inter Auto Romania, has been named head of VW’s new Colombian subsidiary.

There are no current plans to retail or import any other VW brand into the South American nation, Porsche Holding says.

VW sold 5,597 vehicles last year in Colombia, up 36.4% from 2009, according to WardsAuto data. The brand’s share of the light-vehicle market was 2.35%.

Colombia is the second non-European destination for Porsche Holding, which operates import and retail companies in various European countries plus some dealerships in China.