DaimlerChrysler has confirmed that Eckhard Cordes will replace Juergen Hubbert as head of the Mercedes Car Division, effective from October 1.

DaimlerChrysler has confirmed that Elkhart Cordes will replace Juergen Hubbert as head of the Mercedes Car Division, effective from October 1.

Since late 2000, Cordes has led the DaimlerChrysler group's commercial vehicles division, where he cut jobs and costs to staunch losses and lead it back to solid profits. Analysts expect him do the same in his new position, boosting profit margins in the division housing Mercedes-Benz, Smart and the Maybach.

Cordes became a candidate to head the flagship car division when DaimlerChrysler's supervisory board abruptly decided in April that Wolfgang Bernhard, who had been primed for the job, should not get the job just days before he was due to start. Bernhard has announced that he will be leaving DaimlerChrysler and there is strong speculation that he may go to Volkswagen.

Hubbert takes over the responsibilities of the chairman of DaimlerChrysler's board of management until he retires from the board in 2005. Andreas Renschler has been appointed as the board member to take over Cordes’ position at the commercial vehicles division.