LONDON - The man who rebuilt Chrysler Jeep sales in the United Kingdom will not join DaimlerChrysler when Inchcape PLC hands the brand back to its owner on Jan. 1, 2000.
As an Inchcape executive, Richard Mackay, 52, has headed up Chrysler Jeep Imports U.K. Ltd. ever since the brand was relaunched in 1992.
But Mackay says he will stay with Inchcape, a publicly traded group that imports, distributes and retails new vehicles in several markets around the world.
'It's been fun, and the products are truly exciting,' Mackay said of his tenure at Jeep.
'We were given the backing to go ahead and have fun launching the brand, and as long as we were successful, we were allowed to carry on. And we have been successful, exceeding expectations all the way along.'
Mackay said the reintroduction was no easy task, though.
'People knew Jeep without knowing what a Cherokee or a Wrangler was, and Chrysler was a name associated with cars built in the Midlands in the 1970s,' he said.
On his watch, Jeep sales in Britain rose to 9,121 last year. For the nine months through September, sales were 5,762.
Mackay joined the auto industry in 1970, working first for the United Kingdom arm of Renault SA. He later joined Tozer Vehicle Services, which became TKM Automotive.
He moved to Inchcape with its purchase of TKM, and was named operations director of Chrysler Jeep Imports in 1991.
Mackay's replacement is Simon Elliott, 37, who will report to Joe Eberhardt, the new managing director of DaimlerChrysler U.K. Ltd. Eberhardt succeeds Paul Halata, named president and CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA.
Elliott moves to DaimlerChrysler from Toyota Lexus Belgium SA, where he was sales director. He previously worked for Toyota Lexus GB and, before that, for the United Kingdom arm of Volkswagen Group.