Annette Winkler is to step down from her position as head of Mercedes-Benz Smart brand and from her operational activities at Daimler after 23 years.

Her successor as of October 1 is to be announced at a later date

Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars: "Annette Winkler has had a successful and lasting impact on Mercedes-Benz, and especially on smart, over a period of many years."

Winkler will continue to be associated with Daimler as a member of the supervisory board of Mercedes-Benz South Africa

Winkler (58) is to leave her position as head of Smart at Daimler AG after eight years on September 30, 2018.

"One of the key responsibilities of every executive is to pass on leading positions to the next generation at the right time," said Winkler. "And that time has now come – with the clear focus of smart as a fully electric urban-mobility brand and with the decision to develop the Hambach facility into a plant for fully electric vehicles within the Mercedes-Benz production network. With my endless passion for smart and the people behind it, this decision was not easy for me. I am all the more pleased that I can now support the handover to a successor. I will continue to be a passionate ambassador for smart and Daimler in the future – just as I have always been for the past 23 years with great enthusiasm and gratitude."

Winkler will be appointed to the supervisory board of Mercedes-Benz South Africa effective September 1, 2019, where "she will continue to contribute her enthusiasm and great experience with employees and dealerships", Mercedes said.