Mercedes-Benz U.S. International in Vance has had five presidents-chief executives. Here’s a look at the men who have led the company, with the years they headed MBUSI in parentheses:
Andreas Renschler (September 1993-December 1998) led the team that in 1993 selected Vance as the site for Mercedes-Benz’s first passenger vehicle production plant outside of Germany. He became the first president and CEO of the Vance operation and oversaw the plant’s construction and start of production, which began in 1997. He left MBUSI for an executive position in Stuttgart with parent company Daimler AG. He left Daimler in 2014 and later took a position with another company.
Bill Taylor (January 1999-June 2009) retired from MBUSI at the end of June 2009 and became president of the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, a Birmingham-based private, nonprofit organization dedicated to the state’s economic development. Taylor, who retired from the EDPA in 2016, was part of MBUSI’s initial executive management team. He led the development of the plant’s production system and was vice president of operations when he was named to succeed Renschler. Taylor was an executive for Ford Motor Co. and was vice president for manufacturing for Toyota Motors of Canada before joining Mercedes.
Ola Kaellenius (July 2009-July 2010) joined Mercedes-Benz in 1993, working in Europe. A native of Sweden, Kaellenius spent less than a year as head of MBUSI before returning to Germany to lead Mercedes’ AMG unit, and he now is a member of the board of management of parent company Daimler AG, overseeing group research and Mercedes-Benz Cars development.
Markus Schaefer (July 2010-July 2013) an automotive engineer by training, developed Mercedes-Benz’s plan to move C-Class sedan production to Vance. When Mercedes’ board approved the plan, he was named to head MBUSI with instructions to put his plan into action. He spent three years in Tuscaloosa County before returning to his native Germany. He is now a member of the divisional board of Mercedes-Benz Cars, a division of Daimler AG, overseeing production and supply chain management.
Jason Hoff (July 2013-present) started his career with Mercedes-Benz in Vance nearly 20 years ago after getting out of college. At the time, the plant was not yet built, and he joined the initial staff working out of trailers at the site. Hoff rose to vice president of logistics at MBUSI before being transferred to Mercedes in Germany. After working two years there, he was named Schaefer’s successor.