DaimlerChrysler is tightening its grip on Mitsubishi Motors with the appointment of Günter Butschek as president and CEO of the NedCar plant in Born, the Netherlands.
Butschek, 41, is a DaimlerChrysler executive with experience in procurement, logistics, manufacturing and human resources. His last job was with DaimlerChrysler South Africa where he led the tooling installation, production, introduction and export of the right-hand-drive Mercedes-Benz C class.
Butschek succeeds Chris Dewulf, a former Volvo executive, who took charge of NedCar in 1996 when it was a joint venture between Volvo, Mitsubishi and the Dutch government.
In February 1999, Dewulf oversaw a transition at NedCar when Mitsubishi and Volvo each acquired half of the government's share. He remained CEO in April when NedCar became a wholly owned Mitsubishi operation.
NedCar currently builds the Volvo S40 and V40, and Mitsubishi Carisma and Space Star.
Dewulf has entered the banking industry.
Butschek is expected to take his post on July 1, subject to approval by NedCar's works council.
The appointment is one of several changes at Mitsubishi. The Japanese carmaker went outside the company for a new director (see story, right).
NedCar will begin making compact Mitsubishi models and a four-seat Smart beginning in 2004. DaimlerChrysler's Micro Compact Car division produces the Smart. The new cars are based on Mitsubishi's Z-platform.
And Mitsubishi said it will dismantle the trade association of its closely controlled suppliers, or keiretsu, in Japan.
The association will be replaced by what the company calls an 'open and transparent relationship structure with both domestic and international suppliers to assure more efficient communications and cooperation.'
Mitsubishi's Chief Operating Officer Rolf Eckrodt said: 'These changes will strengthen our long-standing cooperative relationship with our suppliers by achieving even fuller collaboration.'
DaimlerChrysler has a 37.3 percent stake in Mitsubishi.