Mercedes-Benz U.S. International (MBUSI) named Federico Kochlowski as president and chief executive officer (CEO) on Tuesday.

Kochlowski will replace Michael Goebel. Goebel – who had served in the role since 2019 – will transition to a new strategic role for Mercedes-Benz production in North America, according to a press release from MBUSI.

The move comes as workers at the MBUSI plant in Vance are scheduled to vote on unionizing in a couple of weeks.

“I want to thank Michael for his commitment over the past five years,” Jörg Burzer, head of Production, Quality & Supply Chain Management for Mercedes-Benz Group AG, said in a statement. “When he took on this role, none of us could have imagined what was in store. He signed up to guide us through our transition to electric vehicles and ended up navigating through a global pandemic, as well. His steadfast leadership helped build a stronger MBUSI.”  

Kochlowski has served in multiple manufacturing leadership roles at Mercedes-Benz in the United States, China, and Mexico. Kochlowski began as vice president of Operations at MBUSI in 2023.

 “Since arriving at MBUSI, I have been struck by the commitment of this workforce—not only to building quality vehicles but to one another,” Kochlowski said in a statement. Our Alabama Team Members have a reputation for doing things differently. As CEO, I look forward to embracing those differences and helping our Team Members continue to build the kind of company and culture they’re proud to be a part of.”

The Mercedes-Benz plant in Tuscaloosa was announced in 1993 and was the first major Mercedes-Benz plant outside Germany. Around two-thirds of the annual production is exported, making MBUSI one of the largest automotive exporters in the United States. 

To connect with the author of this story or to comment, email

Don't miss out! Subscribe to our newsletter and get our top stories every weekday morning.