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View Full Version : Ernst Lieb, C.E.O. of Mercedes-Benz USA, Is Dismissed


jdcaples
10-18-2011, 07:17 PM
I'm ok with this being moved from Sprinter-Talk to Off-Topic, but more people will see it here.

-Jon


Source: http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/10/18/ernst-lieb-c-e-o-of-mercedes-benz-usa-is-dismissed/

In a statement released Monday, Daimler, the parent of Mercedes-Benz, said that Ernst Lieb, the president and chief executive of the luxury automaker’s American subsidiary, had been dismissed from his post. Mr. Lieb was succeeded immediately by Herbert Werner, the chief financial officer of Mercedes-Benz USA, who was expected to occupy the position “until further notice.”


Ernst Lieb.The Daimler statement, communicated in an e-mail by Silke Walters, a Daimler spokeswoman, did not provide an explanation for Mr. Lieb’s dismissal.

Mr. Lieb, 56, had held the position since 2006. In the last year under his leadership, Mercedes-Benz USA had acquired the rights from the Penske Automotive Group to market and sell Smart cars in America, had begun outfitting its Alabama production plant to produce the C-Class sedan and had secured exclusive naming rights for the Louisiana Superdome, which was renamed the Mercedes-Benz Superdome this month.


Mr. Lieb also joined Dieter Zetsche, the chairman of Daimler, in June to inaugurate the brand’s only company-owned showroom in the United States, a 330,000-square-foot space on 11th Avenue in Manhattan, built at a reported cost of $220 million.

Mercedes has strengthened its sales position in the last two years, becoming the No. 2 luxury brand behind Toyota’s Lexus subsidiary in 2009, a position it maintained in 2010.

The subsidiary sold 21,649 Mercedes-branded passenger vehicles in the United States in September. Not accounting for sales of its Sprinter vans and Smart cars, the subsidiary has sold 170,058 Mercedes-branded vehicles through September, a 7 percent improvement over sales for the same period in 2010. Over all, Mercedes-Benz USA sales were 10.4 percent higher than they were in the first nine months of 2010.

The performance was roughly on a par with that of BMW, the brand’s primary rival. In September, BMW USA sold 21,750 BMW-brand vehicles — not accounting for sales from its Mini subsidiary — but sold more units than Mercedes through September, 177,679, a 12.8 percent increase over year-to-date performance from 2010.

Audi, meanwhile, continues to gain on its German rivals, having sold nearly 10,000 vehicles in September, a 19.3 percent increase over September last year. Through September, the brand had sold roughly 85,000 vehicles in the United States.

Mr. Werner was appointed the company’s chief financial officer in February 2009. He previously directed powertrain operations for Daimler AG in Germany and served as a member of the board of management at AMG, Daimler’s high-performance subsidiary

PS: From http://www.thedetroitbureau.com/2011/10/ernst-lieb-ousted-as-mercedes-us-chief/

The 56-year-old Lieb was a Mercedes lifer, joining parent Daimler AG – then known as Daimler-Benz AG – in 1976 as a spare parts specialist. He was assigned to North America several times during his 36-year career, including a stint as CEO of Mercedes-Benz Canada in 1995. He was serving as head of DaimlerChrysler’s Australian and Pacific Operations in 2003.

Lieb was often credited with helping Mercedes improve its quality and customer service, pushing the maker to focus on the distinct needs of the Canadian and, more recently, the U.S. market.

He liked to tell the story of how the maker was routinely dinged in Canadian quality surveys because of the frequent failures of its alternators. The problem, he noted, was that Daimler engineers didn’t recognize the higher loads placed on the electrical systems in Mercedes products due to that country’s cold winters. When Lieb finally was able to get the components changed the company’s quality scores rose quickly. Under his guidance Mercedes had similar results in the U.S.

He was particularly well-liked by dealers – and successful at convincing them to invest more than $1 billion in recent years to upgrade their showrooms.

OrioN
10-18-2011, 07:25 PM
Perhaps Mr. Herbert Werner won't be such a tight-wad and open the purse for some marketing & advertising $$... I suspect that may help with increasing sales and market shares. :idunno:


ps... They currently treat Sprinter advertising (or lack of) like they do for the main product line... relying on customer loyalty & word of mouth (by thy neighbour). HELLO! You need to have Sprinter customers BEFORE you can expect them to purchase more/again! :bash:

jdcaples
10-18-2011, 07:32 PM
Yeah, Werner wasn't even Chief Financial Officer for three years.... his wallet's probably still wide open :)

mendonsy
10-18-2011, 07:48 PM
I can't think of any scenario where replacing a parts guy with a bean counter could be a good thing for customers. :censored::2cents:

Mrdi
10-18-2011, 08:30 PM
I can't think of any scenario where replacing a parts guy with a bean counter could be a good thing for customers. :censored::2cents:
Agreed.

OrioN
10-18-2011, 08:42 PM
I can't think of any scenario where replacing a parts guy with a bean counter could be a good thing for customers. :censored::2cents:

Yes... this is why we OCCUPY.

jdcaples
10-18-2011, 10:44 PM
It's too bad we'll never really know the reason why mgmt changed.

I know that some people believe Ernst wasn't the best person for the job of steering Brand and Product Management into the 21st century.

I'm sure Dr. Z has a plan.

-Jon

Mrdi
10-19-2011, 02:01 AM
Ernst Lieb is moving to Chrysler. :shhh:

Altered Sprinter
10-19-2011, 02:53 AM
Ernst Lieb is moving to Chrysler. :shhh:
WHAT! Not another 38 million marriage of incontinence.:lol:

atulin
10-19-2011, 03:33 PM
This was just posted on Bloomberg -> http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-10-19/mercedes-cancels-u-s-dealer-meeting-in-setback-for-carmaker.html (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-10-19/mercedes-cancels-u-s-dealer-meeting-in-setback-for-carmaker.html)

"Daimler dismissed Lieb because he repeatedly charged the company for private expenses, breaching internal rules, Handelsblatt reported, without saying where it obtained the information.

Lieb billed the company for expenses such as house remodeling and golf club fees even though he had been previously warned against the practice, the German newspaper said. "

OrioN
10-19-2011, 03:43 PM
This was just posted on Bloomberg -> http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-10-19/mercedes-cancels-u-s-dealer-meeting-in-setback-for-carmaker.html (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-10-19/mercedes-cancels-u-s-dealer-meeting-in-setback-for-carmaker.html)

"Daimler dismissed Lieb because he repeatedly charged the company for private expenses, breaching internal rules, Handelsblatt reported, without saying where it obtained the information.

Lieb billed the company for expenses such as house remodeling and golf club fees even though he had been previously warned against the practice, the German newspaper said. "

Then he's a PERFECT fit for Chrysler!! :thumbdown:

jdcaples
10-19-2011, 05:26 PM
A bit more on Ernst Lieb from http://www.nj.com/business/index.ssf/2007/12/luxury_car_importer_is_driven.html

.... so if you're in QLD and you hear Springsteen coming from a Chrysler product, it's a safe bet Ernst is with you, living the dream up close and personal.

-Jon


Luxury car importer is driven

Published: Thursday, December 27, 2007, 6:13 AM Updated: Thursday, December 27, 2007, 6:16 AM

By Mary Gruen The Star-Ledger

While based in Toronto in the 1990s, Ernst Lieb noticed how Canadians warmed up their cars for long periods on frosty mornings. But, sometimes, the cars would die in stop-and-go traffic.

As head of service for Mercedes-Benz Canada, Lieb went to Stuttgart to explain the problem to a room full of German engineers. "They thought I was insane," he said, "because in Germany, if you left your car running in the driveway, your neighbor would call the police."

After 18 months of cajoling, Lieb persuaded them to install a larger alternator. He is tapping that same persistence as chief executive of Mercedes-Benz USA, the Montvale importer of German luxury cars.

"He is one of those guys who will not accept failure," said Mark McNabb, a former Mercedes executive who is senior vice president for sales and marketing at Nissan North America.

On the job for 15 months, Lieb is already making progress. Mercedes jumped to 5th place, from 10th, in this year's J.D. Power and Associates sales satisfaction index.

"Mercedes-Benz is one of the top performers in the industry," said Tom Gauer, a senior director for J.D. Power, the California research firm.

Lieb won't be satisfied until he knocks Lexus from the top spot.

"A brand such as Mercedes-Benz can be nothing less than No. 1," he said.

Lieb is providing financial incentives to the company's 343 dealers so they can modernize their stores. Mercedes is trying to standardize retail facilities so owners from California to New Jersey will have the same top-drawer customer service experience.

Lieb estimates his dealers will spend more than $1.4 billion to upgrade their stores, and Mercedes will spend in excess of $400million.

"We are a lot closer to an actual partnership" with the retailers, Lieb said. "In the end, we are in this together."

Mercedes expects to reach its 14th straight year of higher sales in 2007. The company sold 226,000 vehicles through November, compared with 248,000 for all of last year.

Lieb has spent 32 years with Mercedes, starting as a spare parts specialist. When he visits dealerships, he often goes to the service department first, instead of the showroom.

He has held town hall meetings with employees and has a 6-inch-thick binder on his desk with their suggestions on what to improve.

"You need initiative from within the ranks, otherwise you can't move the company," Lieb said.

He wants his 1,000 New Jersey employees to know their opinions count. "I would like to make Mercedes-Benz one of the top 50 companies to work for in the United States," he said.

ERNST LIEB

Job: Chief executive, Mercedes-Benz USA

Age: 52

Birthdate: June 22, 1955

Hometown: Stuttgart, Germany

Current residence: Mahwah

Family: Wife, Petra; children, Katja, 23; Daniel, 20; and Christopher, 15

Education: Berufsakademie Stuttgart, 1978

Career highlights: Mercedes-Benz Canada -- national parts and service manager, national sales manager, president and chief executive; DaimlerChrysler Australia Pacific -- president and chief executive

Most influential person: His father, who owned a small construction business where Lieb worked

Favorite musician: Bruce Springsteen

Favorite vacation spot: Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Most recent book read: "Great People Decisions: Why They Matter So Much, Why They are So Hard, and How You Can Master Them" by Claudio Fernandez-Araoz

Favorite film: "Gladiator"

punter
11-03-2011, 01:11 AM
Why would your German neighbor call the police if you left your car running in the driveway?

schwarzwaldsprinter
11-03-2011, 01:19 AM
why would your german neighbor call the police if you left your car running in the driveway?

pollution! Waste of resources! Noise disturbance!

Sven