YASA, a pioneer in ultra-high performance electric drive technology and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mercedes-Benz, has appointed Jürgen Banken as its new CEO. An experienced business leader, Jürgen Banken succeeds Dr Chris Harris and assumes leadership responsibilities effective from today.
YASA’s axial-flux electric motor technology offers the greatest efficiencies and highest power densities in class for the smallest size and weight. YASA is based in Oxford and Welshpool, UK.
Banken has held a number of leadership positions at Mercedes-Benz over the last 26 years, most recently as Senior Manager, Development of Integrated Electric Drives at Mercedes-Benz. He has a master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Aachen University and has more than 15 years’ experience in developing and bringing electric vehicles to market.
Since 2016, Banken has been responsible for delivering Mercedes-Benz electric propulsion systems, including the EQS from concept to delivery of its Electric Drive Unit. Jürgen joins YASA at a time of accelerated growth and will focus on delivering world-beating electric-drive solutions for AMG & Mercedes’ electric-only platforms and the subsidiary’s supercar OEM customers.
Dr Chris Harris joined YASA in 2012 and scaled the company from 20 employees to 300, raising significant investment and winning OEM series production contracts, before leading the acquisition of the company by Mercedes-Benz in 2021. Chris is stepping down as CEO to pursue other entrepreneurial ventures, and takes up a new role as a Non-Executive Director at YASA.
On Mercedes-Benz’s journey to ‘Electric only’, YASA is an important cornerstone for our leading electric drive technology. With Jürgen Banken, we will have a very experienced executive leading the team who will take YASA’s development forward, ensuring that their axial-flux electric motors play a key part in our future high performance EV product portfolio. Chris has been key to YASA’s development and we would like to thank him warmly for all his achievements, especially his role in supporting YASA’s successful transition to becoming a fully-integrated subsidiary of Mercedes-Benz.—Markus Schäfer, Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG and Chief Technology Officer responsible for Development and Procurement