Prof. Werner Breitschwerdt. CEO 1983-1987

After working as a scientific assistant at the Stuttgart Technical University, Werner Breitschwerdt joins Daimler-Benz AG in April 1953. In 1973, he is appointed Director Passenger Car Bodies, and in early 1977, member of the Board of Management.

Prof. Werner Breitschwerdt

He takes over the Research and Development division, and in the years following decisively shapes the further development of vehicle safety and occupant protection. In 1983, Breitschwerdt becomes Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler-Benz AG. During his term of office, the worldwide sales of the Group increases by more than 60 percent, while consolidated net income rises by almost 80 percent to around DM 1.7 billion. At the same time, some 16,000 new jobs are created at Daimler-Benz AG. The name of Werner Breitschwerdt is closely linked with several Mercedes-Benz model series. However, Breitschwerdt’s greatest achievement is the 190 (W 201), which in 1982, transferred Mercedes-Benz values such as safety, comfort and longevity to the middle-class. The first outing into the market segment of the current C-Class is a complete success and at the same time the first step towards the systematic strategic model initiative of the 1990s. On 1 September 1987, Breitschwerdt steps down from his office as Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler-Benz AG and becomes a member of the Supervisory Board in 1988. Breitschwerdt is holder of the Grand Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, and is inducted into the European Automotive Hall of Fame in Geneva in 2009.

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