STUTTGART, Germany - Bruno Sacco, the legendary chief designer of Daimler-Benz, will be succeeded by his lieutenant, Peter Pfeiffer.
Sacco, 64, will retire next spring after more than 40 years with the company. His accomplishments include the introduction of the S class in 1979 and the development of the SLK, the CLK and the A class. Sacco's S class had a more functional form and used much less chrome than its predecessors. It inspired a whole generation of cars.
'When I think of future developments of cars, I think of more comfort and more fun,' Sacco said at the Turin auto show last month. 'That is why (the Smart car) has difficulties with general acceptance. It is a development that goes far ahead into the future.'
Daimler will mark Sacco's 40th anniversary in July with a big celebration at the Mercedes Design Center.
Sacco joined Daimler in 1958 as a stylist. In the late 1970s, he was involved with numerous concepts. He came to prominence with his design for the C111/III super sports car. This 'rolling test laboratory' with gull-wing doors set a new speed record during trials at Nardo, Italy, in 1977.
In 1987, Sacco was promoted to head of design for all Mercedes-Benz passenger cars and commercial vehicles, the post now occupied by his successor, Pfeiffer. Pfeiffer, 54, joined Daimler in 1968.
Sacco became director of design in 1993. He reports to Juergen Hubbert, board member responsible for passenger cars; Dieter Zetsche, board member for sales and marketing; and Technical Director Helmut Petri.
Last year, Sacco was presented with a Lifetime Automotive Design Achievement Award by committee members of Eyes on Classic Design, an annual event held in Detroit. He is also a Grand Official of Italy's Order of Merit and an honorary member of Mexico's Academy of Design.