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BMW's New CEO Brings Steeliness to Chart Electric Car Course

  • Oliver Zipse succeeds Harald Krueger after just four years
  • BMW has squandered EV head-start, profitability falling
Bloomberg business news
BMW Names Production Chief Oliver Zipse New CEO
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At BMW AG’s annual presentation results in March, head of production Oliver Zipse was unfazed by Brexit -- then looming just nine days later -- and the future of the carmaker’s iconic Mini model, unlike industry peers. Things would have to get a great deal worse than the tariffs anticipated by the company to challenge BMW’s U.K. production sites, he said.

It’s the kind of steeliness and conviction, also revealed when quizzed about U.S. President Donald Trump plans to hit Mexico with tariffs just as BMW built a plant there, that probably got Zipse BMW’s top job. Often speaking with a half smile, the 55-year-old BMW lifer is taking over the world’s second-biggest luxury carmaker to reinject momentum into a company that’s gone from being a leader in the transition to electric cars to a company searching for direction.