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Changes at top of Mercedes in Australia

Words of support: Mercedes-Benz Australia/Pacific CEO Horst van Sanden has quoted his boss, Dieter Zetsche, during a speech at the Andy Warol/Ai Wei Wei exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria this week.

Horst von Sanden take reins of Mercedes-Benz Aust/Pac amid company restructure

6 Feb 2014

MERCEDES-BENZ Australia/Pacific has announced the appointment of Horst von Sanden as chief executive officer as part of a senior management restructure.

Retaining his current responsibilities as managing director of Mercedes-Benz Cars in Australia and New Zealand, Mr von Sanden has replaced president and CEO Juergen Sauer, who left the company late last year.

The restructure sees the commercial vehicles division of the company now split into two separate business units: Daimler Truck and Bus, which includes brands such as Freightliner and Mitsubishi Fuso, and will be headed by Daniel Whitehead from March 1 and Mercedes-Benz Vans, which is now the responsibility of former general manager of Mercedes-Benz Vans Diane Tarr.

The former managing director of commercial vehicles for Mercedes-Benz Aust/Pac, Kolja Rebstock, leaves at the end of this month for a new appointment – still to be announced – within Daimler AG.

Under the restructure, the managing director of each business unit will report directly to Daimler AG, and will also be responsible for service and parts, and sales and marketing, in their division.

The previous managing director of service and parts for the entire company, Frank La Serra, retired at the end of last year.

Mr von Sanden said the restructure will give the company “an even greater ability to meet our customers’ expectations”.

“We had a very successful year last year across all of our business units and the full integration of each division provides us with the opportunity to further enhance our customer experience as we continue with our growth strategy,” he said.

Mr Whitehead is an expatriate Australian currently serving as executive vice-president of aftersales at Mercedes-Benz (China).

Chief financial officer Ruediger Schrage and managing director of Mercedes-Benz Financial Services, Steven Goodale, remain on the board.

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