Wolfgang Bernhard takes over leadership of ACEA Commercial Vehicle Board

Brussels/Stuttgart, 25 June 2013 - Wolfgang Bernhard - member of Daimler's Board of Management and Head of Daimler Trucks - has officially taken over the chairmanship of the Commercial Vehicle Board of the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA).

 Dr Bernhard succeeds Andreas Renschler in this function, as Mr Renschler moved from the Daimler Trucks Division to the company’s Mercedes-Benz unit earlier this year. Stressing the importance of pan-industry collaboration, he said: “As commercial vehicle manufacturers, we can only be successful and sustainable in the long run if we jointly articulate and address our industry’s developments, progress and needs, and make these known to political decision-makers." Dr Bernhard drew attention to the industry's strong track record in reducing CO2 emissions.

These CO2 savings have been achieved at the same time as the dramatic decreases in NOx and particulate matter from the EURO standards - despite both initiatives requiring sometimes conflicting measures. "In the years ahead, we will continue to invest billions of euros in research and development in this area, and I’m convinced that we will reach our Vision 20-20 target,” stated Bernhard.

Under the Vision 20-20 initiative, the European commercial vehicle industry pledged to reduce CO2 emissions by 20% per ton-kilometer by 2020, compared to 2005 levels. According to Bernhard, there is an urgent need to inform policy makers about vehicle requirements with regard to weight and dimensions. “Aerodynamic improvements have greatly contributed to reducing fuel consumption and increasing efficiency,” he stated.

However, the industry stresses the need for flexibility to design the safest and most fuel-efficient vehicles according to their usage, rather than imposing a fixed design.

A revision of the weights and dimensions direction based on only a 'derogation from total vehicle length' will provide little opportunity to improve truck cabs. It should also not be forgotten that the greatest fuel savings (5-6%) can be achieved through improvements to the rear of the truck, which could be implemented across the fleet within three to four years. "We have to explain these facts more clearly and effectively so that they are taken into account in the current political debate.”

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Notes for editors

• Wolfgang Bernhard has been a member of the Board of Management of Daimler since 2010. He joined Mercedes-Benz in 1992, becoming Head of the S-Class Assembly in 1994 before being promoted to CEO of Mercedes-AMG GmbH in 1999. He was appointed a member of the board of management of DaimlerChrysler AG in November 2000 and held the position of Chief Operating Officer for the Chrysler Group from November 2000 until 2004.

In February 2005 he joined the board of Volkswagen AG and became chairman of the VW Group brands from May 2005 to February 2007. Dr Bernhard completed his master’s degree in electrical engineering and economics at the Technical University Darmstadt, and received his MBA from Columbia Business School.

He completed his doctoral degree, with a dissertation on International Exchange Rate Risks at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt.

About ACEA

  • The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) is the Brussels-based trade association of the 15 major car, van, truck and bus producers in Europe.
  • Europe's commercial vehicle manufacturers are key to Europe's prosperity. ACEA has 7 commercial vehicle members operating in 19 EU member states: DAF Trucks, Daimler Trucks, IVECO, MAN Truck & Bus, Scania, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles and Volvo Group.
  • The commercial vehicle industry is a key part of the EU economy. It represents 11% of EU automotive employment; 250,000 direct manufacturing jobs; 3.6 million direct and indirect jobs.
  • The European commercial vehicle industry fulfills the majority of transport needs. It is responsible for more than 75% of freight carried over land, and delivers 18 billion tonnes of goods per year.
  • The commercial vehicle sector is a major industry, with over 2 million units produced per year and a turnover of €70 billion annually.
  • The EU automotive industry is a leading source of innovation, investing €32 billion into R&D and applying for 9,500 patents per year.

For the photo of Mr Bernhard in high resolution, please click here.