Change of Management at BBAC, Daimler's Largest Joint Venture in China
- Arno van der Merwe new President and CEO of Beijing Benz Automotive Co. (BBAC) from April 2017
- Peter Schabert retires after 31 years at Daimler AG
- Hubertus Troska: "Peter Schabert successfully and continuously increased the capacity, productivity and flexibility of our plant in Beijing. We are deeply grateful for his commitment in Germany and in China and we are now looking forward to the collaboration with Mr. van der Merwe."
- Markus Schäfer: "We are convinced that Arno van der Merwe will continue the successful work of Peter Schabert. He brings valuable inspiration for the joint venture in China thanks to his experience as CEO and site manager in South Africa."
East London/Beijing – From April 2017 Arno van der Merwe (44) will be the new president and CEO of BBAC. He follows in the footsteps of Peter Schabert (62), who is retiring after 31 years at Daimler AG. Schabert has been the president and CEO of BBAC since August 2015. "We have reached one of our most significant milestones to date under the lead of Peter Schabert: last year China became the largest market for Mercedes-Benz Cars. Peter Schabert successfully and continuously increased the capacity, productivity and flexibility of our plant in Beijing. We are deeply grateful for his commitment in Germany and in China and we are now looking forward to the collaboration with Mr. van der Merwe," says Hubertus Troska, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Daimler Greater China.
In 1985, Peter Schabert joined the former Daimler-Benz AG as an engineer at the Mercedes-Benz Untertürkheim plant. Between July 2010 and 2015 he was site manager at the Mercedes-Benz Untertürkheim plant and head of powertrain production (engines, transmissions, axles and components) at Mercedes-Benz Cars. He had previously been appointed to several management roles within the company, including head of the Mercedes-Benz Berlin plant and the Mercedes-Benz Bremen plant. He leaves the company after having achieved some significant results, such as the production anniversary of the one-millionth vehicle in China and the production launch of the third generation of the long E-Class "made in China for China".
The designated president and CEO of BBAC, Arno van der Merwe, contributes with many years of experience in automotive production. "We are convinced that Arno van der Merwe will continue the successful work of Peter Schabert. He brings valuable inspiration for the joint venture in China thanks to his experience as CEO and site manager in South Africa. Colleagues in Beijing will benefit from his expertise and know-how, in particular at a stage when we are further increasing our capacities and flexibility," explains Markus Schäfer, Member of the Divisional Board of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Production and Supply Chain Management. Van der Merwe has been CEO and Executive Director Manufacturing of Mercedes-Benz South Africa since March 2014. Prior to that, he held the position of plant leader from 2011 to 2014. Under his management the East London plant launched projects including the production of C-Class plug-in hybrid models. The 44 year-old has been working for Daimler AG since 1996.
About Beijing Benz Automotive Co. (BBAC)
Beijing Benz Automotive Co. (BBAC) has been producing Mercedes-Benz passenger cars since 2005 and engines since 2013. In 2015 over two thirds of Mercedes-Benz vehicles in China were produced locally. Thanks to the great success of the locally produced E-Class, C-Class, GLA, and GLC, the overall production at BBAC has now exceeded 1,000,000 units. In terms of area, BBAC is the largest Mercedes-Benz plant for passenger cars in the world.
The Mercedes-Benz 4- and 6-cylinder engines manufactured by BBAC are used in cars produced by BBAC, as well as in vans made by Fujian Benz Automotive Co., Ltd. (FBAC), another local Daimler joint venture. The BBAC production line is flexible by design. Approximately 250,000 engines were manufactured in 2015. Earlier this year, Daimler and BAIC signed a strategic framework agreement on the joint investment of RMB 4 billion (more than €500 million) in further expanding the Beijing-based engine plant.