STUTTGART - Bruno Sacco, the long-time head of design at Daimler-Benz, will be succeeded by his lieutenant Peter Pfeiffer.
Sacco, 64, will retire next spring after more than 40 years with the company.
Pfeiffer, 54, joined Daimler in 1968. He began his design career in 1963 at Ford Motor Co. in Cologne.
Sacco, an Italian, led a revolution in the look of Mercedes cars during his years as head of design.
His S-class in 1979 had a more functional form and used much less chrome than its predecessors. It inspired a new generation of sedan cars.
'When I think of future developments of cars I think of more comfort and more fun,' said Sacco at the Turin auto show. 'That is why (the MCC Smart) has difficulties with general acceptance. It is a development that goes far ahead into the future.'
Sacco joined Daimler in 1958. In the late 1970s he was involved with several concepts. He came to prominence with his design for the third C111 super sports car. This 'rolling test laboratory' with gull-wing doors set a new speed record during trials at Nardo, Italy, in 1977.
In 1987 Sacco was promoted to head of design for all Mercedes-Benz passenger cars and commercial vehicles, the post now occupied by his successor Pfeiffer.
Sacco reports to Juergen Hubbert, board member responsible for passenger cars, Dieter Zetsche, board member for sales and marketing, and Technical Director Helmut Petri.
Daimler will mark Sacco's 40th anniversary in July with a celebration at the Mercedes Design Center, followed by a gala dinner at Sindelfingen town hall.
Last year, Sacco was presented with a Lifetime Design Achievement Award at the Detroit auto show.