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Teamwork: David McCarthy and Jerry Stamoulis (lower) have worked together at Mercedes-Benz for many years and now take on key new responsibilities at the market-leading luxury car manufacturer.

MERCEDES-BENZ Australia/Pacific has restructured its public relations department and created two new divisions to be overseen by its current senior executives – David McCarthy, who becomes head of external affairs and corporate communications, and Jerry Stamoulis, who is now head of media relations and product communications.

Mr McCarthy moves from his current role as senior manager of public relations, product and corporate communications to the new external affairs role, which will see him responsible for government relations and working with various industry bodies on key issues such as autonomous, connected and electric vehicles and related technology, infrastructure and regulations.

Mr Stamoulis steps up from his previous role as manager of public relations and product communications, now leading all product and brand-related PR activity at Mercedes-Benz after joining the German luxury car manufacturer in 2010 as corporate communications manager.

The company is now in the process of recruiting an experienced PR professional to work under Mr Stamoulis.

Jerry Stamoulis

Announcing the changes at the updated C-Class launch in regional Victoria last week, Mercedes-Benz Australia/Pacific managing director and CEO Horst von Sanden explained that the company saw the need to have a dedicated manager in charge of external relations and that Mr McCarthy, who had assumed this role as part of his broader PR duties, would now be allowed to focus specifically on major issues facing the car-maker and the broader industry.

Mr McCarthy will report directly to Mr von Sanden, who also currently serves as president of the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries. Mr McCarthy is a member of the FCAI board as well.

“As you might be aware there’s a lot happening, a lot of lobbying work that needs to be done, not only because of my new role as president of the FCAI but also with all the things that are happening in our industry with connected vehicles, electrification and all these buzzwords that will involve a lot of political work,” Mr von Sanden said.

“So Macca, with his high skills of being political, he will take over that role.”

By Terry Martin