Executive shuffle: BMW names Bernhard Kuhnt as its new North American CEO

Why it issues to you

A administration shake-up might imply huge modifications in BMW’s North American division as it really works to reverse a current dip in gross sales.

Regime change is afoot in BMW’s North American division.

Bernhard Kuhnt will take over as CEO of BMW of North America efficient March 1. Present CEO Ludwig Willisch will relinquish that title, however will retain his place as head of BMW Group Area Americas, in accordance with an organization press launch. The reshuffle nonetheless leaves Willisch with a substantial quantity of affect.

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Kuhnt and the heads of all BMW regional subsidiaries in North America, Central, America, and South America will report back to Willisch, in response to Automotive News (subscription required). Willisch has held the twin roles of North American CEO and head of BMW Group Area Americas since 2012. Willisch assumed the CEO place in 2011, and held numerous different executives positions for BMW in Europe previous to that, together with head of the corporate’s European gross sales area and head of the M efficiency division.

Incoming CEO Kuhnt is presently liable for BMW Group Importer markets, overseeing gross sales in additional than eighty nations, per BMW’s press launch. He does have some earlier expertise with the North American market, having labored in U.S. gross sales administration for greater than 9 years for different automakers. He joined BMW in 2015 after a stint at Jaguar Land Rover.

Petter Witt, government vice chairman of operations for BMW North America, will even depart his place on the finish of this month. BMW stated Witt is “shifting on to a brand new position outdoors the corporate.” A successor was not introduced, which means that discovering one will probably be considered one of Kuhnt’s first duties.

The chief shuffle comes throughout a dip in BMW’s U.S. gross sales. These gross sales dropped 9.5 % in 2016 to 313,174 automobiles, placing BMW behind each Mercedes-Benz and Lexus. Gross sales elevated zero.1 % in January to 18,109 models, which put BMW in second place amongst luxurious manufacturers, however nonetheless nicely behind Mercedes’ 25,527 gross sales within the first month of the yr.

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