BMW Names Olaf Kastner as Head of China to Replace Karsten Engel

BMW AG named the head of its Chinese joint venture to lead the China region, replacing Karsten Engel, who will return to Germany.

Olaf Kastner will take over in his new role from Dec. 1 and Anton Heiss will assume his position as president and chief executive officer of BMW Brilliance Automotive, according to a statement from the company.

In his term heading China, Engel has overseen a reduction in prices on some models in China and a cut in production to prevent a buildup of unsold cars. The world’s largest luxury automaker is also adjusting to a “new normal” of slower demand growth in China, Engel said at the Shanghai auto show in April. The carmaker said in July it will increase spending on online marketing in China and emphasize its technology as part of efforts to target younger buyers.

BMW has said it sees challenges from the normalization of growth rates in China. Automakers including BMW have had to extend financial support to dealers, who have complained of overly ambitious sales targets amid a slowing economy.

— With assistance by Tian Ying, and Elisabeth Behrmann

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