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Zetsche Wants Faster Benz Turnaround

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From TCC

Dieter Zetsche said he hopes he can speed up Mercedes-Benz' turnaround, but said his first task when he goes home to Stuttgart is to learn more about the company's problems and the plans to fix them.

Sent from Germany to the United States in November 2000 to engineer a turnaround of the Chrysler Group, Zetsche has earned high marks both inside and outside DaimlerChrysler for his executive skill, leadership, product savvy and personal charm.

As he left for Germany, Zetsche told reporters said he has no set agenda or blueprint for repairing Mercedes, which has struggled in the past two years with quality issues, falling profits and a seeming lack of strategic direction.

"First, I'll listen and see where we are. That has to be done. And then I will certainly continue what has been started and see where we can accelerate ... to get us back to where we want to be as fast as possible," Zetsche told reporters before leaving or Germany. He also indicated that he would not pre-judge anything done by previous management regimes at Mercedes-Benz and vowed to remain involved at the Chrysler Group in the future.

"Despite my new responsibilities, I will not be a stranger here in Auburn Hills," Zetsche told several hundred cheering Chrysler employees.

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