Germany: auto industry stirred by management changes at VW and BMW image

The country, traditionally the strongest market in Europe and the one that delivers some of the most powerful automakers in the world is undergoing a management shakeup thanks to a generational shift.

At the BMW Group – the largest premium automaker in the world – and at VW AG – the biggest carmaker in Europe and the second largest globally – there are new leaders coming to occupy top positions. At the former Harald Krueger will take over the chief executive officer position and at the latter Herbert Diess has been brought over to lead the group’s namesake VW passenger car brand. When the switches are complete, four of the six largest German brands will have managers that are in their early or mid-50s. “The auto industry is at a crossroads and everyone is worried about the future — new types of technology, new types of business models, new markets and competitors,” comments Christoph Stuermer, global lead analyst at PwC’s Autofacts division.

The incoming chief executives will need to ensure their companies survive all the changes and end up delivering the promised profits to the shareholders, all the while ensuring that more than 450,000 workers in Germany keep their jobs. All that while cost cutting strategies are implemented everywhere, development costs are increasing as the rivals try to catch up one another and also need to cope with the tougher emission regulations. On top of that the younger generation has different tastes to be satisfied and the advent of connected and autonomous cars has brought new players in the industry, including the likes of tech giants such as Google or Apple.

Via Automotive News Europe