According to BMW’s outgoing chief executive officer, the largest luxury automaker in the world will push to the limit its new boss as the executive will have to deal with the emergence of electric autos, driverless cars and new rivals – such as Google or, maybe even Apple.
The outgoing chief also noted the successor will also have to deal with the old and traditional woes of any car chief – consumer demand, fluctuating currencies or rising fuel prices. Norbert Reithofer, discussing the matter during a roundtable on the sidelines of the ongoing Geneva International motor Show, said the recent and upcoming technological disruptions could be enough to disrupt an entire industry – not just a single carmaker. The executive is getting ready to leave the chief executive post in favor of the company’s current leader of production, Harald Krueger. “Alternative drivetrains and networked and highly-automated cars will be the main challenges,” commented Reithofer. “Another topic will be new players entering the field of autonomous driving who have never built a car before,” referring to the potential rise as prominent competitors such as Google or Apple.
According to the outgoing CEO, even if BMW is an established player the emergence of new competitors is not something to treat lightly, giving as an example how the personal computer has totally replaced the typewriter. According to another BMW AG official, Peter Schwarzenbauer, BMW’s management board member in charge of the Mini brand, the auto industry was one of the most exciting places to work today, seeing as winners the companies that will combine intelligence (especially artificial) with their keen experience on making complex hardware – adding that cooperation between traditional players and tech companies was increasingly logical.