TORONTO - Edwin Brust, a former general manager of Jeep-Eagle Division, was named last week as Chrysler Canada Ltd.'s third president and chief executive in less than a year.
Brust, who holds master's degrees in engineering and finance from Wayne State University in Detroit, was vice president for Latin America, the Mideast and Africa for parent DaimlerChrysler Corp., a post he had held since 1996.
The 55-year-old Brust succeeds William (Bill) Glaub, who died of a heart attack while on his honeymoon in the Caribbean in November. Glaub had taken over the job last May, following the death of former president Yves Landry.
Independent auto analyst Dennis DesRosiers said Brust's product background will be the biggest asset he brings to Chrysler Canada. Chrysler Canada jumped ahead of Ford in production in 1998 and just missed taking the No. 2 sales spot.
'He's the perfect candidate. Ninety-five percent of his job will involve standing on the edge of his company looking out into the marketplace,' DesRosiers said.
'You put a strong product guy into a sales and marketing job and he's going to do much better than a bean counter or manufacturing guy.'
DesRosiers said Brust also will face the job of integrating Chrysler Canada into the new DaimlerChrysler structure.
'His job will be to make it work at the local level. Chrysler may look at harmonizing some of its operations with Mercedes-Benz Canada, such as finance, vehicle distribution logistics and parts warehousing,' DesRosiers said.
Brust joined Chrysler in 1984. He worked on Chrysler's future product plans in a number of senior management positions until being named general manager of Jeep-Eagle in 1993. He held that post until 1996.