Dieter Zetsche has officially retired from his position as the Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and head of Mercedes-Benz this week. Bidding farewell to Mercedes' ex-top boss, fellow German automaker and rival BMW has released an amazing video with a special message. Thanking Dieter Zetsche for many years of inspiring competition, the video recreates his last day at the Stuttgart headquarters, leaving the company for the very last time to go home, where a special something awaits him.
Titled as "Retirement Is About Exploring Your Wide Open Future", the video starts with Dieter Zetsche or, rather, the actor playing him, leaving the office, saying his goodbyes, amidst the applause from numerous employees. He hands over his company ID card and gets into a Mercedes-Benz S-Class to go home. After the company car drops him home and leaves, we next see the garage door open with a title card "Free at last" and the Zetsche lookalike drives out in the new BMW i8 Roadster plug-in hybrid sports car.
Now, amazing as it is, Mercedes-Benz too had a witty comeback to the Bavarian carmaker's idea of what Dieter Zetsche should drive now that he's retired. Soon after the video hit social media, Mercedes re-tweeted the video with the quote, "Thanks BMW for the kind suggestion - but we're 100% sure he already decided to Switch to EQ", hinting at its own electric mobility brand.
Despite their rivalry, Mercedes-Benz and BMW have found ways to show respect to each other on many such momentous occasions. In fact, back in 2016, when BMW celebrated its 100-year anniversary, Mercedes invited all BMW employees to visit the museum in Stuttgart - with no admission charges between March 8 and 13, 2016. Mercedes-Benz, in fact, has gone to the extent of saying that those who arrive in a BMW will be allowed to park and there will be no parking fees charged either and will get a prominent position directly outside the entrance on the hill.
Dieter Zetsche, who held the Chairman CEO position for the last 14 years, passed over the reins to Ola Kallenius on May 22nd, 2019. Kallenius is to replace Dieter Zetsche as the Chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz AG and the Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG in September 2019.