Mercedes Car Group has promoted long-serving marketer Ian Dutfield to marketing director to replace Nick Ratcliffe. It is thought Dutfield, who has been with the company for 21 years, starts his new role later this month.
Dutfield was previously service support director in the customer services group and before that spent four years as product development manager in the Mercedes passenger car marketing department, where he reported to Ratcliffe’s predecessor, Simon Oldfield.
Dutfield joined Mercedes in 1985 as a technical adviser and has also spent time as dealer operations manager. He will report to Mercedes Car Group UK managing director Dermot Kelly in his new role. He will also oversee the Smart marque, which is being aligned more closely with Mercedes (MW May 11).
Ratcliffe, who was marketing director at the DaimlerChrysler-owned Mercedes for three years, is thought to be joining BT, although it is not yet clear what title he will take (MW October 19).
Ratcliffe spent 11 years at DaimlerChrysler and has also worked at BMW and Citroën. He oversaw a difficult period for Mercedes, which has lost ground to BMW and Audi in recent years.
However, the company’s UK sales are up 9% so far this year, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. Mercedes had sold 64,683 cars by the end of September, giving it a 3.4% market share.
Dutfield will manage the company’s relationships with its agencies, Shop, BJK&E and Claydon Heeley. He will also oversee the joint client-agency business unit that was set up earlier this year by Ratcliffe (MW March 2).