Stuttgart/Beijing – The Board of Management of Daimler Truck AG has appointed Dr. Holger Scherr as the new President and CEO of the Chinese joint venture Beijing Foton Daimler Automotive Co. Ltd. (BFDA). Scherr, who holds a doctorate in engineering, succeeds Kelley Platt, who will take well-deserved retirement by the beginning of 2022 after more than 30 years with the company. BFDA manufactures heavy trucks of the Auman brand and will in future produce Mercedes-Benz tractors in China for China.
“As the world’s largest truck market, China is of paramount importance and is one of the most crucial markets for future growth. The appointment of Dr. Holger Scherr to lead our joint venture, with his widespread managerial experience in the truck sector, is key to exploiting our full potential in China. “Serving as leader of the Mercedes-Benz truck localization and Business Building project at BFDA for the past five years, his deep understanding and commitment to the market, customers and business make him the ideal fit to take over the baton in this new position” said Martin Daum, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler Truck AG. “At this time, I would like to thank Kelley Platt for her strong leadership and contribution towards further improving the efficiency and performance of our joint venture business in China. It has been a great pleasure to work alongside Kelley, who has provided over 30 years of service to Daimler Truck. As an eminent commercial vehicle expert who has made significant contributions across a number of markets, we are particularly grateful for her dedication and loyalty and wish her the very best for the future!”
After studying electrical engineering in Stuttgart and earning his doctorate at the Technical University of Munich, as well as holding professional positions at Siemens and McKinsey, Dr. Holger Scherr joined Daimler AG in 2003 as head of a restructuring project at the truck division. From 2005 to 2006, he headed product development for the Mercedes-Benz Zetros special truck. From 2006 he took on further management responsibilities in various areas of truck development. From 2009 to 2013, Dr. Scherr was responsible for global transport logistics for trucks, passenger cars, vans and buses at Daimler AG. He then took over as Head of Supply Chain and Supplier Management for the world’s largest truck plant in Wörth (Germany). With his vast industrial expertise, he moved to Beijing in 2016, where he became leader of the Mercedes-Benz Truck Localization & Business Building project. Working alongside a professional team of local talents and international experts, he has helped to develop localized models that cater to the needs of Chinese customers, and which demonstrate the technology, standards and engineering excellence that Mercedes-Benz Trucks is renowned for.
Kelley Platt has served as head of BFDA in Beijing since 2018. As a veteran manager in the commercial vehicle industry, she has led the transformation of BFDA alongside our Chinese partner, further enhancing the efficiency and transparency of our joint venture business. Keeping her feet to the ground, her leadership at BFDA has achieved improvements in performance year after year, culminating in record high unit sales of over 120,000 in 2020. Previously, the experienced manager led the Western Star brand’s operations at Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA), achieving record sales and market share results. From 2010 to 2015, Platt led the operations of Thomas Built Buses (TBB) in High Point, North Carolina. Under her leadership, TBB became the leading brand in the North American school bus market. Platt began her career at DTNA in 1989 in finance after outside positions.
Growing truck business in China
The Chinese market for heavy trucks had a volume of more than1.5 million units in 2020. For 2021, it can be assumed that more than half of the trucks sold worldwide will be registered in China. China is an important part of Daimler Truck’s global platform strategy. Through local production of Mercedes-Benz and Auman trucks in China, the company will better exploit the potential of the world’s largest truck market in the future and expects sales in China to increasingly contribute to Daimler Truck’s global sales development.