Robert Velt has been named as the new managing director of Mercedes-Benz Vans UK.

Velt, who is currently vice president and managing director of sales and marketing for Mercedes-Benz Vans USA, will take up his new role on 1 May.

Velt started as a management trainee with Mercedes in 1995, then held various roles in R&D with the firm’s car division, before becoming regional sales manager for commercial vehicles in Dubai in 2000.

He then went to Russia in 2003 as commercial vehicles sales and marketing department director, before holding similar positions in South Korea and China.

He then became president and CEO for Daimler Trucks and Buses in China, before taking on his American role in 2016.

Velt said: “I’m delighted to be joining such a successful team in the UK and using my experience to help serve the highly sophisticated van community and ensure that their needs are not only being met, but are being succeeded. 

“The van market has proved to be a vital sector in keeping the UK moving, and I can’t wait to be a part of it.”

Mercedes-Benz executive vice president and head of Mercedes-Benz Vans Marcus Breitschwerdt said: “I am happy we could win Robert for our van business in the UK. He did an outstanding job within the US market and I am convinced that his wealth of experience and leadership skills will help to continue to drive our business ambition forward in the UK market.”

Velt will be replacing Steve Bridge, who as previously announced has left Mercedes to become managing director of eStar Truck & Van.

Breitschwerdt said: “Steve is one of the most influential figures of the UK commercial vehicle industry and made Mercedes-Benz Vans in the UK a huge success. Thanks a lot for a great job, Steve, and good luck for your new challenge.”