Mercedes-Benz AMG GmbH, the performance-vehicle unit in Germany, will be headed by Ola Kaellenius, who will take his place as the new managing director starting April 1.
Nine months ago, Kaellenius, who is Swedish and is 40 years old, was appointed to lead Mercedes-Benz's US manufacturing operations in Vance, Ala. To date, no one has been named to head the Alabama company.
Kaellenius had replaced Bill Taylor, who was Vance's CEO from January 1999 until his retirement on June 30, 2009. Whoever replaces Kaellenius would be Vance's third top manager since last summer.
The Vance operation actually serves as Mercedes' global export source for M-, R- and G-class models. Last December, Mercedes announced that it seeks to lessen the Vance facility's reliance on SUVs and crossovers. In relation to this goal, Mercedes is expanding Vance to make about one-fifth of the world's C-class sedans starting in 2014.
It can be recalled that the carmaker's decision to share C-class production with the US plant prompted labor protests by Mercedes' German union last year. When Vance opened in 1997, it was the first Mercedes-Benz plant outside Germany.
This plant's production methods and human resources practices have been recognized and applied at other Mercedes operations throughout the globe.
Kaellenius had been the head of the carmaker's U.K.-based Mercedes-Benz High Performance Engines Ltd. His career includes a stint at the sports-car producer McLaren Automotive. [via autonews]