Roman Fischer, the managing director of Mercedes Benz passenger car operations in Australia, has been appointed president and chief executive of the DaimlerChrysler Australia-Pacific operations.

Mr Fischer, 45, will take up his position in January next year and replaces Bernt Schlickum, who will retire after 20 years with the company.

Last year Mr Fischer presided over a 20 per cent increase in Mercedes Benz car sales in Australia.

Mercedes Benz senior executive and director of passenger car sales and marketing, Dietmar Haug, will also retire in August this year.

His responsibilities will be split between Andrew Harlock, who takes up the position of senior executive, product planning and management and Horst Von Sanden who has been named senior executive, marketing.

Mr Harlock is currently senior manager of Mercedes Benz southern region sales and Mr Von Sanden will shift from Stuttgart where he is general manager of global advertising for passenger cars.