At Mercedes-Benz, loyalty and hard work do not go unrewarded. After having served as Director for Strategy for Production of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Markus Schafer has been given a new role at Mercedes-Benz International Inc., Vance, Alabama, as Chief Executive Officer.
Schafer, who also served as Vice President of Engineering at Vance, helped it expand to double its size, a project that cost around $600 million. The project laid out the groundwork for automated process and empowered the plant to build multiple vehicles simultaneously.
Despite automation, however, Vance has been operating under capacity for over two years, producing Mercedes-Benz M, G and R classes for export. It’s now up to Schafer to get Vance up to capacity and meet its new challenge – production of the new Mercedes-Benz C-Class.
Schafer is replacing outgoing CEO Ola Kaellenius, who has accepted appointment as the new Managing Director of Mercedes-Benz AMG GmbH come March. Keallenius served as Vance CEO for nine years. His 44-year-old successor will hopefully do better in terms of expanding production to the plant’s full capacity.
The new C-Class will be entering production come 2013. So until then, Schafer has time to pick up the pace in time for its market debut.