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Mercedes Car Group Chief Steps Down

Eckhard Cordes plans to leave DaimlerChrysler at the end of the month.
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said Eckhard Cordes, the head of the company's Mercedes car group, plans to leave the company at the end of the month after 29 years with the carmaker.

Cordes' move will accelerate some already planned management moves at one of the world's biggest vehicle producers.

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Dieter Zetsche, who leads the company's Chrysler Group, will take over as chief of the Mercedes car division Sept. 1. The Stuttgart, Germany, company said last month that on Jan. 1 Zetsche is replacing CEO Jurgen Schrempp, becoming chairman of the board of management.

Thomas LaSorda will become start running Chrysler Sept. 1. That same day, Eric Ridenour will take LaSorda's place as chief operating officer of Chrysler.

Mercedes-Benz sales were flat in the latest quarter, and Chrysler group sales rose 3%. After a first-quarter operating loss, Mercedes was slightly positive in the second quarter.

DaimlerChrysler was down 46 cents to $49.71 in premarket trading.