DaimlerChrysler will name trucks chief Eckhard Cordes to head its luxury Mercedes Car Group unit on July 28, the Financial Times Deutschland reported on Tuesday, citing sources at the auto maker, according to Reuters .

The paper reportedly said Cordes won key approval from employee representatives on the supervisory board by engineering a turnaround of its loss-making commercial vehicles division without resorting to layoffs.

A spokesman had told Reuters on Monday the supervisory board had not yet decided, so any names mentioned for the job were still speculation.

According to the news agency, chief executive Juergen Schrempp is reportedly unwilling to name a successor for Mercedes head Juergen Hubbert, whose contract expires in April 2005, without the support of unions.

Erich Klemm, deputy supervisory board chairman and head of Daimler’s works council, has said publicly that he helped block Wolfgang Bernhard, the former number two at US arm Chrysler , from taking over Mercedes as planned on May 1, Reuters noted.

The report said Cordes, 53, is one of Schrempp’s allies on the management board – if he gets the job, he will have beaten other internal candidates such as Smart car unit head Andreas Renschler and former Mitsubishi manager Ulrich Walker.

Reuters noted that, on June 16, German economics weekly WirtschaftsWoche reported that Daimler’s head of research and technology, Thomas Weber, had secured the support of unions and won the inside track to succeed Hubbert.