Rival car makers are wooing DaimlerChrysler executive Wolfgang Bernhard after the group abruptly halted plans to make him head of its prestigious Mercedes Car Group, German newspapers reported on Tuesday.

According to Reuters, the Handelsblatt daily said Volkswagen chief executive Bernd Pischetsrieder wants Bernhard, 43, to head the VW brand group while Die Welt reportedly quoted industry sources as saying Bernhard would soon head production at General Motors.

A GM Europe spokeswoman termed the report “pure speculation”, while VW and DaimlerChrysler officials were not immediately available for comment, the report said.

Handelsblatt reportedly said Bernhard – whose promotion to Mercedes Car Group head was derailed at the last moment by DaimlerChrysler’s board in April – was supposed to take over responsibility for the VW, Skoda, Bentley and Bugatti brands.

Citing company sources, Handelsblatt wrote that talks were being held with the former Chrysler chief operating officer who has a reputation as a hard-nosed turnaround specialist, Reuters said.

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

The news agency said Die Welt reported it was practically certain that DaimlerChrysler’s supervisory board would name commercial vehicles division head Eckhard Cordes on July 28 to replace Juergen Hubbert as Mercedes boss.

It reportedly said the German-American group’s head of corporate development, Ruediger Grube, would replace Cordes.