PORTLAND, ORE. – February 23, 2017 – Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) today announced a series of executive appointments to its Aftermarket and Operations organization. Effective June 1, 2017, the appointments draw upon the deep talent bench within DTNA and position experienced senior managers for organizational optimization.
Rich Simons, General Manager, Aftermarket Parts Sales, Daimler Trucks North America
Rich Simons has been named General Manager, Aftermarket Parts Sales at DTNA. Simons will succeed Jeff Wallis who will be retiring from a career spanning over 35 years at DTNA and Detroit Diesel.
In his new role, Simons will be responsible for leading the aftermarket sales functions within the company, including parts and glider sales to the DTNA network, fleets, and export markets, for all DTNA brands, including Freightliner, Western Star, Detroit, Thomas Built Buses, and Alliance Truck Parts.
“Through Jeff’s leadership, the Aftermarket Parts Sales area evolved in significant ways, delivering profitable aftermarket sales performance that greatly exceeded our business goals,” said Friedrich Baumann, Senior Vice President of Aftermarket at Daimler Trucks North America. “Rich brings a deep, well-rounded knowledge of the business to the position, which makes him uniquely valuable to lead the Aftermarket Parts Sales team.”
Simons began his most recent role as General Manager, Central Service in 2015. Previously, he was appointed President of Daimler Trucks Remarketing (DTR) in 2009 following three years as Director of Used Truck Sales and Director of Freightliner and Thomas Built Buses parts sales. His experience also includes responsibilities as Director of Sterling and Western Star parts sales since joining the company in 1998.
Paul Romanaggi, General Manager, Central Service, Daimler Trucks North America
Paul Romanaggi succeeds Simons as General Manager, Central Service for DTNA. Romanaggi will be responsible for leading truck and powertrain service activities throughout the U.S. and Canada, including dealer and fleet field support, service engineering, call center support, new product service readiness, service literature and systems, and all technical training activities.
“Paul’s experience leading DTNA’s warranty, pricing, service and parts distribution is an ideal fit for the position of General Manager, Central Service,” continued Baumann. “Paul’s stellar history of unquestioned leadership will enable him to take the service network to new heights of support, training, and expeditious responsiveness.”
Since joining the company in 1984, Romanaggi has held a variety of leadership roles in Quality, Warranty, Parts Pricing & Sales, and Service & Parts Distribution, including General Manager of Supplier Management & Quality for the past decade
Carsten Kirchholtes, General Manager, Supplier Management & Launch Chain Management, Daimler Trucks North America
Succeeding Romanaggi in the role of General Manager Supplier Management & Launch Change Management will be Carsten Kirchholtes. In his new role, Kirchholtes will be responsible for leading and driving targets and continuous improvement in all aspects of Supplier Management and Launch Change Management for DTNA.
“Carsten is a seasoned executive who has proven himself in the oversight of the complex area of sourcing and procurement,” said Roger Nielsen, Chief Operating Officer, Daimler Trucks North America. “His solid knowledge base of the commercial vehicle supply network will facilitate his success in his new role.”
Since joining Mercedes-Benz in Germany in 1992, Kirchholtes has held several director roles in the purchasing departments in Germany and the United States.
Christoph Mertens, General Manager, Procurement, Daimler Trucks North America
Succeeding Kirchholtes as General Manager of Procurement at DTNA will be Christoph Mertens who will be moving from his role as head of Daimler Trucks Vehicle Modules and Platform Management in Stuttgart, Germany. In addition to his primary responsibilities for overseeing procurement in the NAFTA region, Mertens will also be responsible for leading and driving the global procurement activities of the Cab Commodity Group.
“We welcome Christoph to the Daimler Trucks North America family,” continued Nielsen. “Daimler Trucks North America is in the enviable position to be able to share human resources with Daimler Trucks Global Network. Christoph brings global experience to procurement and will be able to draw upon his proven experience around the world to enhance our procurement activities in North America.”
Mertens has vast experience in diverse management positions. Since 2013, he led the Daimler Trucks Vehicle Modules and Platform Management team in Stuttgart, Germany. Previously, he took on the project responsibility for the Heavy Duty Engine Platform for Mercedes-Benz and FUSO. From 2005 through 2008, Mertens served as Head of Production Light Duty Transmissions. He began his career with Daimler in Gaggenau, Germany in 1999.
Sungsoo Lee, General Manager, Operations Planning& Quality Management, Daimler Trucks North America
Sungsoo Lee, currently Plant Manager of Saltillo Truck Manufacturing, has been named General Manager of Operations Planning and Quality Management. In his new position, Lee will be responsible for directing and leading the activities of Customer Application Engineering, Quality Management, Six Sigma and Production Planning.
“Sungsoo’s background operating DTNA’s exceptional facility in Saltillo, Mexico was an ideal proving ground for the position of General Manager of Operations Planning & Quality Management,” said Nielsen. “The Saltillo facility has been recognized as state-of-the-art and has been awarded as a top performing plant amongst all Daimler facilities. Sungsoo will bring his lean manufacturing experience and his relentless pursuit of quality to the entire DTNA manufacturing network.”
Lee has extensive experience in global manufacturing. Prior to his role as Plant Manager of Saltillo Truck Manufacturing in Mexico, he was the head of Mercedes-Benz & Chrysler Passenger Car production in China for the Beijing Benz Automotive Company. In early 2000, he was General Manager of Manufacturing for Freightliner. Later, he served as the Executive Vice President of Manufacturing for NedCar in the Netherlands. Lee joined Daimler in 1999 as Senior Divisional Manager for Manufacturing Mercedes-Benz Passenger Cars in South Africa.
About Daimler Trucks North America
Daimler Trucks North America LLC, headquartered in Portland, Ore., is the leading heavy-duty truck manufacturer in North America. Daimler Trucks North America produces and markets commercial vehicles under the Freightliner, Western Star and Thomas Built Buses nameplates. Daimler Trucks North America is a Daimler company, the world’s leading commercial vehicle manufacturer.