German luxury carmaker Mercedes-Benz today announced a top level management change in its Indian unit, appointing Roland S Folger as Managing Director and CEO in place of incumbent Eberhard Kern, who will assume a new role for the firm in Europe.
Folger, currently the President & CEO of Mercedes-Benz Malaysia and a Mercedes-Benz veteran for over three decades, will take the new responsibility of heading Mercedes-Benz India from October 1, 2015, the company said in a statement.
Under Kern’s leadership during the past three years, Mercedes-Benz India has made a strong comeback to become the number one in luxury car segment in India.
“After six years, Mercedes-Benz today leads the luxury car market in India,” the company said.
During the first quarter of 2015, Mercedes-Benz sold 3,566 units, overtaking rival Audi, which sold 3,139 units. In January-June, the company’s sales grew 41 per cent at 6,659 units as compared to 4,717 units in the year-ago period.
Commenting on the change, Kern said: “After heading India operations for three years, I can confidently state that in my entire three decades of Daimler career, the stint in India remains the most memorable one.”
It is very satisfying to see immense growth of Mercedes-Benz in India as sales volumes nearly doubled from 2012 to 2015, he added.
Stating that he was looking forward to India experience, Folger said: “With my experience across business divisions, I look forward to pursue the ‘India story’ further and make the foundation of Mercedes-Benz even stronger in this dynamic country.”
After holding several positions in sales departments for Mercedes-Benz Passenger Cars and Commercial Vehicles with responsibility for the South East Asia region, Folger was appointed Vice President for Sales, Marketing and After Sales at Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, where he was part of the team that introduced the first M-Class in the USA.
In 2006, he joined Mercedes-Benz Vans division as Head of Product Management and Marketing Communication and two years later took over the responsibility for worldwide Sales of Vans in September, 2008.
Effective March 1, 2011, Folger was appointed President & CEO of Mercedes-Benz Malaysia, the company said.