Mercedes moves strategy chief Mathias Geisen to head vans unit

Europe

Mercedes-Benz has named Mathias Geisen as head of its van operations, replacing Marcus Breitschwerdt on Jan. 1.

Breitschwerdt will become head of Mercedes-Benz brand and corporate heritage including the Mercedes-Benz Museum, and all business activities in the classic area, the automaker said in a news release.

Geisen, 43, is currently head of corporate strategy for Daimler and Mercedes-Benz. He joined Daimler-Benz in 1998, holding positions in product management and sales. In 2013 he took over responsibility for van sales outside Europe, and was general manager for vans in the U.S. from 2014-17. In 2019 he took over product management for Mercedes SUVs, compact vehicles and electric cars, and then added responsibility for overall corporate strategy.

Mercedes sold 374,652 vans worldwide in 2020, a 15 percent decrease from 2019. European sales were 245,220, an 18 percent decrease. European market share was 2.2 percent in Europe in small vans (the Citan, built by Renault) and 17.1 percent for midsize/large (Vito/Sprinter) vans. In the U.S. the Sprinter had a 10.5 percent market share, an increase of 1.7 percentage points over 2019.

Breitschwerdt, 60, started at Mercedes-Benz in 1991 as a controller, and led transportation and environmental strategy before taking over as head of Mercedes cars marketing and portfolio strategy in 2000. His other posts at Mercedes included president of Mercedes Canada, president of Mercedes UK, and head of Mercedes cars Europe sales region. He was named head of van operations in 2019. 

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