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Daimler strengthens truck business in China with new executive appointments for DTBC and BFDA

BEIJING – Daimler said in a statement on December 5 that it is strengthening the focus of its truck organization in China by appointing two new senior executives at Daimler Trucks and Buses China (DTBC) and heavy-duty truck joint venture Beijing Foton Daimler Automotive (BFDA).

Effective January 1, 2018, Sven Ennerst will take over responsibility for the company’s trucks operations in China including both local production at BFDA and the imported truck business at DTBC. He will continue his current role as head of Product Engineering and Global Procurement, and will succeed Jung-Woo Park, currently deputy CEO of DTBC.

In addition, Kelley Platt, currently the president of Western Star Trucks, will become president and CEO of BFDA, which produces Auman heavy-duty trucks. She will succeed Zhou Liang, who has decided to pursue opportunities outside of Daimler and therefore will leave the company as of January 15, 2018.

The appoints come less than two weeks after DTBC finally launched its latest generation imported Actros long-haul tractor and Arocs off-road truck on the Chinese market on November 23.

Ennerst has gained valuable experience in China during his mechanical engineering studies there as well as his in professional career. He has also held management positions at Daimler Trucks for more than 20 years. In his new role, he will work closely with both Martin Daum, member of the board of management of Daimler AG, responsible for Trucks and Buses, and Hubertus Troska, member of the board of management of Daimler AG, responsible for Greater China, to further advance Daimler’s truck business development in China.

Over the last few years, Platt headed the Western Star business unit at Daimler Trucks North America. Under the leadership of Platt, Western Star has been setting sales and market share records. From 2010 to 2015, Platt was the President and CEO of Thomas Built Buses in High Point, North Carolina. During her tenure, Thomas Built Buses became the leading brand in the North American school bus market. Kelley started her Daimler career in 1989 in the treasury department.

“China is by far the world’s largest automotive market – both for passenger cars as well as commercial vehicles,” said Troska. “The further focused and strengthened setup for our truck business in China shows our deepening commitment to this market. With the new appointment, we will continue bringing global expertise to our operations in China, to further explore the market potential with our local partners.”

“We want to expand our position in the Chinese market. That is why we are elevating the responsibility for China to the divisional board of Daimler Trucks. With Sven Ennerst, one of our most senior and experienced leaders will be taking over this important position in one of our key markets,” said Daum. “With Kelley Platt, BFDA will be headed by a seasoned trucks manager, who has led business units and brands very successfully.”

“We are very thankful for Zhou Liang’s dedication and contribution to the BFDA business. We wish him all the best and much success for his future endeavors,” added Troska.

Together with its Chinese partner Foton, Daimler has been building medium and heavy-duty trucks under the Auman brand for the volume segment since 2012. Through to October, BFDA sold about 91,000 vehicles, a 59 percent increase compared to the same period of 2016.

The legally independent company DTBC imports and sells Mercedes-Benz Trucks for the premium segment, which is shifting from an initial purchase price consideration to a focus on Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and lifetime value.

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