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Eberhardt given Chrylser top job.

DaimlerChrysler UK president and chief executive officer Joachim Eberhardt is to head up Chrysler Group sales, marketing and service organisation in the United States.

Eberhardt, who has occupied the top spot at DCUK since 1999, is set to replace Jim Schroer who resigned last week amid rumours of top-level disagreements over the Chrysler group's heavy discounting policy to boost flagging sales.

After Schroer's departure, Chrysler announced a raft of sales incentives, including zero per cent finance and cash allowances of up to $4500 (£2728) on selected vehicles. However DaimlerChrysler shocked stock markets last week when it admitted that Chrysler might lose more than $1bn (£600m) in the US from April to June.

Despite difficulties facing the company, Eberhardt is looking forward to his new role, which marks a return to his career roots. He occupied senior sales positions at Mercedes-Benz in the United States for more than 10 years. Chrysler will be looking for a repeat of Eberhardt's UK success. Under his leadership, sales have risen by over 75 per cent with year to May figures up 11.78 per cent on 2002 to 37,664.

“Chrysler Group's achievements over the past few years have been remarkable and I look forward to continuing the global development,” says Eberhardt. His replacement at DCUK will be Wilfried Steffen, 47, currently chief executive and managing director of DaimlerChrysler in Switzerland – one of the carmaker's key markets. The move surprised experts who felt Mercedes UK MD Dermot Kelly, the influence behind the new UK retail structure, would be promoted.

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