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Automotive

Axel Bense takes the wheel of S.C. auto plant

Automotive
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Former lead of Mercedes-Benz Manufacturing Thailand and Mercedes-Benz Rus Axel Bense will succeed Arnhelm Mittelbach as CEO and president of the company’s North Charleston plant on April 1.

Bense formerly headed up company production in Thailand and Russia. (Photo/Provided)Mittelbach, who has served at the helm of South Carolina’s Mercedes-Benz Vans plant since 2019, will take on a new position at Mercedes-Benz Cars at the company’s headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany, following the transition in April.

“With Axel Bense, our van operations management board is completed by another internationally experienced production expert for the challenging task,” Ingo Ettisher, head of Mercedes-Benz Vans Operations, said in a news release. “I am very much looking forward to working with him in the future and wish him every success in his new role!”

Bense joined the then DaimlerChrysler AG at the Bremen, Germany, plant in 1999 as a graduate process engineer, and in 2001, he was responsible as project manager for the construction and commissioning of a new paint shop at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Tuscaloosa, Ala. After various management positions at the Bremen and Sindelfingen sites in Germany, as well as the Tuscaloosa site, he took over production management at Mercedes-Benz Truck Vostok in Russia at the beginning of 2011.

In that function, Bense was responsible for the construction and ramp-up of the new plant in Chelny, Russia. In 2015 he returned to Sindelfingen to lead development of the Chelny plant.

In 2017, he took over the management and development of the new production company Mercedes-Benz Manufacturing Rus as CEO in Moscow. Later, Bense moved on to Thailand where he took over management at Mercedes-Benz Manufacturing Thailand in 2020.

Mittelbach began his career in 2002 at the then DaimlerChrysler AG in Bremen, Germany.  After various management tasks in the Mercedes-Benz operations, including at the locations in Bremen, Sindelfingen and East London in South Africa, Mittelbach took over management of the Charleston plant in 2019.

“In this role, together with the team on site, Arnhelm succeeded in completing the ramp-up of the plant and the VS30 Sprinter and then stabilizing and repositioning the plant in parallel with the challenges of the global pandemic,” Ettischer said in the release. “I would like to thank Arnhelm for this outstanding achievement and wish him, also on behalf of the entire team, all the best for his continued career with Mercedes-Benz.”

 

Reach Molly Hulsey at 864-720-1223.

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