Mercedes-Benz South Africa is saying goodbye to its former CEO and President, Martin Zimmermann who, after three years at the helm, is returning to Germany to take up the position of head of Parts and Service for the group’s world-wide operations. He will, however, remain on the board of directors of MBSA in a non-executive function. His post is being filled by a South African, Arno van der Merwe, who will take over as the new CEO.
FleetWatch editor Patrick O’Leary took the opportunity at the group’s annual results press conference to get Zimmermann’s take on how he sees the positives and negatives of South Africa based on his experiences here. On the good news front, he still sees South Africa as a good investment destination for overseas companies adding that if it weren’t for security issues and corruption, this country “would be paradise”.
both on the manufacturing and supplier side. However, he warns that if we don’t build on this, we will be overtaken by other countries and become “basically extinct” in South Africa as a manufacturing industry.
Listen to Martin Zimmermann’s thoughts in the accompanying video. FleetWatch congratulates him on the fine job he has done over the past three years and wishes him all the best of luck and success in his new position.
We also say welcome to Arno van der Merwe as the new CEO of the company. Can you believe it? Did you ever think you would live to see the day when a Van Der Merwe would head the German giant, Mercedes-Benz South Africa? Which reminds me: Have you heard the one about Van Der Merwe who bought a Mercedes? Nah, stop right there. No more Van Der Merwe jokes OK. Way to go Meneer Van Der Merwe. Proudly South African! Yeah!