Before handing the keys of DaimlerChrysler’s Mercedes Car Division to Eckhard Cordes in October, current chief Juergen Hubbert has vowed to reform the company by paying particular attention to quality issues.

Before handing the keys of DaimlerChrysler’s Mercedes Car Division to Eckhard Cordes in October, current chief Juergen Hubbert has vowed to reform the company by paying particular attention to quality issues.

As Mercedes-Benz’s model range has expanded, the company’s quality has come under heavy criticism. Hubbert, who presided over the Mercedes-Benz explosion, aims to fix these problems before he bows out and said the company would even accept lower profits in exchange for better quality.

As part of his new plan, Hubbert will be changing processes and even delaying new vehicles to iron out existing problems. He said Mercedes has increased the size of its test fleets and assigned quality engineers to suppliers to ”make sure we get better quality from our colleagues."

Hubbert said Mercedes would address complaints about its poorly designed cupholders, problems with the electronic equipment and even windshield wipers.

"We will try to solve them by changing materials and components with a clear target to come back to number one in the short term," Hubbert told . "I am absolutely sure buyers will appreciate what we do."

Mercedes also is applying lessons it learned fixing various electronics glitches on the E-Class. A new electronics architecture has been developed for the new S-Class that "will divide parts and not put it all together into a few computers."

From October 1, Hubbert will be replaced by Eckhard Cordes as head of the division housing the Mercedes-Benz, Smart and Maybach brands, while Hubbert will head DaimlerChrysler’s management board until he retires in 2005.