Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche says the best thing journalists can do for Wolfgang Bernhard is to stop referring to him as Zetsche's heir apparent.
Bernhard, 49, recently was elevated to Daimler's six-member management board. The former Chrysler COO was put in charge of production and purchasing at Daimler's Mercedes-Benz Cars unit.
Analysts say Bernhard has the inside track to succeed Zetsche, 57, who is group CEO and head of Mercedes, after Zetsche's contract expires Dec. 31, 2013.
Not so fast, says the current CEO.
"He is not crown prince or my deputy," Zetsche said.