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Daimler names five new executives to its aftermarket and operations organization


PORTLAND, Ore. – Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) has made five appointments to its aftermarket and operations areas.

Effective June 1, Rich Simons will take on the role of general manager of aftermarket parts sales; general manager of central service will be Paul Romanaggi; Carsten Kirchholtes assumes the role of general manager of supplier management and launch chain management; general manager of procurement will be the responsibility of Christoph Mertens; and Sungsoo Lee will be general manager of operations planning and quality management.

Simons will take over for Jeff Wallis, who be retiring after 35 years with DTNA and Detroit Diesel.

Rich Simons.

“Through (Wallis’) 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 DTNA. “(Simons) brings a deep, well-rounded knowledge of the business to the position, which makes him uniquely valuable to lead the aftermarket parts sales team.”

Romanaggi will lead the truck and powertrain service throughout the US and Canada.

Paul Romanaggi.

“(Romanaggi’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. “(Romanaggi’s) stellar history of unquestioned leadership will enable him to take the service network to new heights of support, training, and expeditious responsiveness.”

Kirchholtes succeeds Romanaggi in his new role, driving targets and continuous improvement in all aspects of supplier management and launch change management.

Carsten Kirchholtes.

“(Kirchholtes) 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.”

Kirchholtes will be succeeded by Mertens, who will be taking on his new role in Stuttgart, Germany.

Christoph Mertens.

“We welcome (Mertens) 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. (Mertens) 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.”

Lee moves from his current role as plant manager of Saltillo Truck Manufacturing.

Sungsoo Lee.

“(Lee’s) background operating DTNA’s exceptional facility in Saltillo, Mexico was an ideal proving ground for the position of general manager of operations planning and 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. (Lee) will bring his lean manufacturing experience and his relentless pursuit of quality to the entire DTNA manufacturing network.”