Harold Krueger, CEO of BMW, gave notice today that he is stepping down as CEO, with no intention of extending his contract, but will remain CEO until a successor is named. The board will meet on the 18th of July to discuss finding a successor.
Krueger has been under scrutiny for the automakers weak earnings and falling sales. Since he became CEO of BMW, he has watched Mercedes-Benz overtake BMW in sales, and failed to come up with a solid EV strategy. As a result, Audi and Mercedes-Benz have EV’s on sale that are almost decent vehicles, but BMW just has the slow-selling i3 and i8, a sports car that is slower around a track than a Honda Civic.
Another difficulty BMW has had under Krueger’s leadership is making good driver’s cars. The only regular BMW that’s still a true driver’s car is the soon-to-be-replaced 2 Series. The rest of the range are merely decent for cruising, but by continuing to market them as “The Ultimate Driving Machine,” BMW arguably alienate people who want a cruiser, thinking that they’ll be too sporty for their tastes, while people who want a drivers car wouldn’t buy a BMW because they know they’re not actually drivers cars any more- this is a possible explanation for the sales drop. Replacing the kidney grille with the giant nostrils is unlikely to have helped global sales either.
Krueger’s main achievement was gaining a majority of its joint-venture with Brilliance, a Chinese car manufacturer.
Hopefully, the next BMW CEO will be able to get things back on track.