Less than two years after Stuttgart-based Daimler AG sent one of its most experienced executives to head the India operations and reclaim the leadership position in the luxury car segment in the country, Peter Honegg is returning to headquarters citing “personal reasons”.
Prior to his India stint, Honegg, who has been with Daimler since 1976, was the chief executive of Mercedes-Benz Malaysia. In India, he succeeded Wilfried Aulbur in November 2010 after the latter’s five-year stint.
Honegg will be succeeded by Eberhard Kern, who will take over on 1 December, the company said.
Kern has been associated with the German company for three decades. He is currently the head of Mercedes-Benz Taiwan.
Honegg was instrumental in persuading the company to embark on local assembly of some of its top models such as the S-class and the M-class. The firm recently announced it would invest Rs.250 crore for further localization efforts in the country.
The firm was a leader in the luxury car segment in the country until 2009 when BMW India Pvt. Ltd dislodged it. In 2012, Mercedes was pushed to third by another German company, Audi India. The firm is seeking to recover its lost position by launching less-expensive, entry-level cars such as the A-class, GLC and GLK models.