Eva Wiese’s sudden departure as president of Mercedes-Benz Canada after only two years at the helm surprised and disappointed Canadian dealers, but they understand her decision to move back to Germany for family reasons.
“We really got to know her, we worked through some things, and we really had some stability,” said Brian Lowes, president of Pinnacle Automotive, which owns Mercedes-Benz dealerships in Winnipeg and Kitchener-Waterloo, Ont. “We liked Eva. She really listens and was a good fit for our market.”
Wiese will be replaced by Andreas Tetzloff effective Oct. 1.
Lowes, who also chairs the Mercedes-Benz Canada dealer advisory board, said Wiese performed well despite arriving at a “difficult time” with the country in various stages of pandemic lockdowns. The Automotive News Research & Data Center shows Mercedes-Benz sales in Canada grew 2.4 per cent in 2021 and are up 7.4 per cent through the first half of 2022.
“It was a deeply personal, family-based decision,” Lowes said. “And as we know, those never come at a good time.”
Mercedes-Benz Canada spokesman Zakary Paget confirmed that Wiese’s departure was her decision and was “indeed for family reasons.”
“The other important factor to keep in mind with regard to the positive reaction is that Eva’s successor, Andreas Tetzloff, brings a wealth of experience in retail and customer service and will continue to build upon the strong foundation Eva has built with our dealer network,” Paget said.
Dealers are ready to roll out the welcome mat, said Lowes, who already has exchanged emails with Tetzloff and held
a conference call with MercedesBenz USA CEO Dimitris Psillakis, Wiese and Tetzloff.
“He seems great. Deeply experienced on the retail side, and he certainly is excited to come to Canada,” Lowes said. “We’re excited to have him.”
Tetzloff, 50, comes to Canada from Mercedes-Benz Russia, where he was CEO. He joined Mercedes in 1992 and held increasingly senior roles in Germany, culminating with his move to Russia.
Tetzloff will lead a nationwide network of 59 dealerships and 250 corporate employees in Canada. Wiese is heading back to
Germany as managing director of Mercedes-Benz Customer Solutions GmbH, which focuses on the development and sale of branded original accessories and collector products.
Lowes said he looks forward to working with Tetzloff and spelled out a number of priorities. “Nothing specific, but increasing vehicle supply, launching new product, including electric, continuing to build on guest and client satisfaction and continuing the great momentum in the Canadian market.”