Mercedes U.S. International new president - WVTM-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Birmingham, AL

Mercedes U.S. International new president

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VANCE, AL -

Mercedes-Benz US international has a new president. Markus Schaefer the current president will officially hand over the reins to Jason Hoff on July first. But before then the entire Mercedes team, gathered to say goodbye to their leader who will be the new head of production planning for Mercedes-Benz cars.

Despite the live band, and stage lighting it started out like a typical team meeting...numbers, statistics, and even a little pat on the back. 

Then guest speakers took the stage to say their farewell's to Mercedes Benz U.S. international president Markus Schaefer.

Governor Bentley said, "Every time you see this tie you will always remember Alabama. And I want to thank you for all that you have done in this plant, for all these workers. I want to thank you for what you've done for the state of Alabama and I want to thank you for your friendship."

Schaefer gave his successor a parting gift as the new president Jason Hoff gets in the driver's seat.

 "I think he is very very qualified to take the steering wheel and take it over and run this company and continue the success," Schafer said.

Over the course of three years during Schaefer's command the company has added thousands of jobs and new cars to the production line.

Schaefer's success was correlated to something many of the people who filled these seats can relate to, Alabama football.

Coach Nick Saban surprised those in attendance and said, "We want to have a program that is the best for you to be proud of. And I can promise you, in my opinion you have a product that is the best and I've very proud of."

Despite some of the solemn farewells incoming president Hoff said his family is excited to return to the United States.

"My two kids are thrilled to be back in Alabama. All they could think about was eating Chick-Fil-A and going to the McWane center. So I have a big week ahead of me next week," Hoff added.

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