Daimler AG announces new leadership for Mercedes-Benz South Africa


  • Arno van der Merwe will be the new President and CEO of Beijing Benz Automotive Co. (BBAC) from 1st of April 2017
  • Andreas Engling takes over the reins at Mercedes-Benz South Africa as Executive Director Manufacturing and CEO.

East London/Pretoria – German automaker Daimler announced the appointment of Andreas Engling as CEO and Executive Director Manufacturing of Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA) today. Arno van der Merwe, currently in this position, will start a new chapter in his career as President and CEO of Beijing Benz Automotive Co. Ltd. (BBAC). Both these appointments are effective 1 April 2017.

Van der Merwe succeeds Peter Schabert, who retires after 31 years at Daimler AG. Schabert has been 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. 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.

Arno van der Merwe, designated President and CEO of BBAC, brings 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 Executive Director Manufacturing 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 MBSA since March 2014. Prior to that, he held the position of plant leader from 2011 to 2014. Under his leadership, the East London plant saw benchmark productivity increases and received six consecutive JD Power awards in the US market for quality excellence. He has enjoyed a diverse career path within Daimler since joining the South African operations in 1996.

“It is an honour to have been entrusted with such an important role. The leadership team at BBAC has created an excellent foundation for growth and I am excited to be part of this ongoing journey of collaboration and teamwork,” says Van der Merwe of his new role.

Andreas Engling has been with the Daimler organisation for more than 30 years. He is currently Head of Engine Production for Daimler’s Untertürkheim plant in Germany and was previously in the position of CEO of MDC Power, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Daimler AG. Before this, he held various positions in the company. “I am excited about this new opportunity to lead the East London plant further on its path of quality and productivity excellence. I look forward to working collaboratively with all stakeholders of the larger Mercedes-Benz South Africa group of companies and building on the rich heritage of the company of more than 65 years in the country.”

About Beijing Benz Automotive Co. (BBAC)

BBAC is Daimler’s largest joint venture between the parent company and its Chinese partner, BAIC Motor.

BBAC has been manufacturing Mercedes-Benz passenger cars since 2005 and engines since 2013. In 2015, more than two-thirds of Mercedes-Benz vehicles sold in China came from local production on the flexible production line. Thanks to the great success of the locally-produced E-Class, C-Class, GLA and GLC, the total production of BBAC has now exceeded the mark of 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 installed in the vehicles produced by BBAC, but also in the vans of Fujian Benz Automotive Co. (FBAC), another local Daimler joint venture. In 2015, around 250 000 engines were produced. This year, Daimler and BAIC signed a strategic framework agreement on the joint investment of RMB 4 billion (more than R7bn) for the expansion of the engine plant in Beijing.

About Mercedes-Benz South Africa

Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the global company, Daimler AG. The company’s manufacturing plant is based in East London, a plant which has been manufacturing vehicles in South Africa since 1950.

Today MBSA manufactures Mercedes-Benz C-Class cars in both left- and right-hand drive for the local market and international export. It also produces Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicles and buses and Mitsubishi FUSO trucks. The company imports distributes and markets other Mercedes-Benz passenger cars, trucks and vans, as well as the smart brand.

The marketing and sales offices of MBSA are located in Zwartkop, Pretoria. The Mercedes-Benz East London plant has been recognised consistently in the past for its quality excellence by receiving six consecutive JD Power quality awards.

This press release is distributed by Mercedes-Benz South Africa (Pty) Ltd.