Wolfgang Bernhard, who left DaimlerChrysler in 2004 just as he was about to become head of its Mercedes premium car division, will return to Daimler as head of its vans business.

Bernhard – a formerly high flying exec with VW and DaimlerChrysler – was known as a product guy with a tendency towards abrasive relations with the labour unions.

From April Bernhard will assume worldwide responsibility for The Daimler Group’s Mercedes-Benz Vans unit.

Bernhard previously held various leading positions at the Daimler Group and its predecessor companies during the period from 1994 to 2004, the last of which was member of the Board of Management of DaimlerChrysler AG.

Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars: “I am delighted that Wolfgang Bernhard is back on board at Daimler. I have valued his knowledge and experience since the time we spent together in the United States, and I’m glad we can continue our excellent collaboration.”

In his new position, Bernhard will report directly to Dieter Zetsche, as did Wilfried Porth.

The Mercedes-Benz Vans unit produces nearly 288,000 vehicles each year with approximately 16,000 employees at nine different sites. Some will say that he is destined for higher things at Daimler.