BMW appoints company insider Oliver Zipse as chief executive, as car industry reels from diesel sales slump and global trade war
BMW has appointed company insider Oliver Zipse as chief executive, as the car industry reels from a diesel sales slump and a global trade war.
The 55-year-old will take the job next month when boss Harald Kruger leaves after four years.
Zipse joined BMW in 1991 as a trainee before working his way up to various management roles and being appointed to the board in 2015.
Sign of the times: Oliver Zipse will be under pressure to roll out more electric vehicles, something his predecessor was reluctant to do
It is hoped he will be able to steer the firm back to its leading position in the premium market, which was lost to Mercedes-Benz during Kruger’s tenure.
Norbert Reithofer, chairman, said: ‘He will provide the BMW Group with fresh momentum.’ The company has also been losing market share to Elon Musk’s Tesla in electric car sales.
Zipse will be under pressure to roll out more electric vehicles, something his predecessor was reluctant to do.
Patrick Hummel, analyst at UBS, said: ‘Tesla has a lead of three to four years in areas like software and electronics.
‘The millennials are much more focused on these things. There is a risk the Germans can’t catch up.’