BUSINESS

Mercedes-Benz names new Korea chief

By Seo Jee-yeon
  • Published : May 14, 2015 - 19:05
  • Updated : May 14, 2015 - 19:05
Mercedes-Benz Korea will fuel its growth momentum with a new CEO in the second half of this year, company officials said Thursday.

From Sept. 1, Dimitris Psillakis, 49, current managing director of Mercedes-Benz Cars Brazil, will helm the Korean unit, the company said in a press release.

He replaces Britta Seeger, who will move to Turkey to lead Daimler’s commercial vehicles business.

Psillakis, who started his career at Mercedes-Benz in Greece in 1992, is known as a “growth accelerator.” 

Dimitris Psillakis

“He doubled (yearly) sales of Benz cars in Brazil when he served as the head of the passenger car business from 2014,” the company said.

He is also praised for his development of the 2020 growth strategy for the biggest car market in Latin America, under which he presented the goal of boosting car sales by 400 percent in five years. In an effort to achieve the bold growth goal, he has pushed for the project to build a new Brazilian plant for C-Class and GLA-Class production in Iracemapolis, Sao Paulo, by 2016.

Based on his career history, market watchers forecast the new leadership of Mercedes-Benz Korea will take a more aggressive and strategic approach to accelerate growth here.

“I am pleased to move to the Korean market and will contribute to bolster the Mercedes-Benz brand in Korea, based on my variety of work experiences in the global market,” Psillakis said in a written statement.

The Daimler Group has paid high attention to the fast-growing Korean market. Korea has grown into one of its top 10 passenger car markets in the world.

Car sales of the German carmaker in Korea here have accelerated since the beginning of the year. The company topped in foreign car sales last month, selling 3,310 cars, boosted by the growing popularity of its high-end models such as S Class and E Class.

In a separate development, Daimler Group appointed Cho Kyu-sang, 44, vice president of Mercedes-Benz Korea, as the new head of Daimler Trucks Korea.

He is the first Korean head among all Daimler affiliates across the world. Rainer Gaertner, current CEO of Daimler Trucks Korea, will lead Daimler Trucks and Buses China, Mercedes-Benz Korea said.

By Seo Jee-yeon  (jyseo@heraldcorp.com)