In an unexpected move, the DaimlerChrysler AG executive who oversaw the successful launch of the Jeep Liberty at a new $750 million assembly plant in Toledo two years ago has resigned.
Edward Mercer, who had been manager of the carmakerís Toledo assembly plant since 1998, resigned from the plant and the company on Thursday, said Shawn Morgan, a company spokesman in Auburn Hills, Mich., the companyís North American headquarters. His departure was voluntary, but he gave no advance notice, she said.
Reached at his Sylvania residence yesterday, Mr. Mercer said he plans to join a friend in a business "supporting the auto industry." The 48-year-old executive praised the plantís 4,400 employees "as a good group of people. I think Iím leaving them in a very good position because they are at the top of the heap at the corporation. I look forward to watching their success in the future."
Mr. Mercer was regarded at the plant that makes Jeep Libertys and Wranglers as an able manager whose hard-charging and aggressive style sometimes caused conflicts with staff and union representatives.
"We had our differences at times," the UAWís Mr. Nick Vuich said. "Ed was good at working with us to bring work to the plant. Sometimes, the membership - myself included - had a hard time getting along with him."