After a successful career spanning over 30 years with the company, Mr Bernt Schlickum, President and CEO, DaimlerChrysler Australia/Pacific, retires at the end of this month.

Mr Schlickum, 61, spent over 20 years working in Australia, 16 at the helm of the Down Under operation.

During his leadership the company’s presence in Australia grew continuously, particularly over the last few years, coinciding with DaimlerChrysler’s renewed focus on the Asian region.

Mr Schlickum joined Daimler-Benz AG in Stuttgart in 1969. He moved to Australia for the first time in 1975 to take on a sales promotion and planning management position, which he held until moving to Mercedes-Benz UK in 1977.

In the midst of the Iranian revolution, Mr Schlickum spent 1978 to 1980 in Teheran, as resident director for Daimler-Benz.

In 1981, Mr Schlickum returned to Australia, as director of operations and deputy managing director. He was appointed managing director of Mercedes-Benz Australia in 1984.

Following the merger of Daimler-Benz and Chrysler in 1998, Mr Schlickum was appointed president and CEO of DaimlerChrysler Australia/Pacific.

Today, DaimlerChrysler Australia/Pacific employs over 800 people, and expects a turnover of close to $A1.6 billion for calendar year 2000.

The Mercedes-Benz passenger car business unit is on target to achieve a best-ever sales result of almost 10,000 units this year. Chrysler Jeep will retail approximately 6,000 units this year and the commercial vehicles division 5,500 units.

In 1994, Mr Schlickum was awarded a life membership of the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries for his role in representing the Australian automotive industry over many years.

During his time in Australia, Mr Schlickum was active in fostering German-Australian business and cultural relations. From 1993 to 1997 he was chairman of the German-Australian Chamber of Industry and Commerce and in 1997 was awarded the German Cross of Merit for his efforts.

Mr Schlickum plans to relocate to Europe with his wife Rosine early next year, taking up residence in Berlin. His future activities will encompass a continued focus on Australian-European relations.

Mr Roman Fischer, previously managing director Mercedes-Benz passenger cars, will succeed Mr Schlickum in the role of president and CEO DaimlerChrysler Australia/Pacific from January 1.