Oliver Sachgau Bloomberg News Published 6:16 PM EDT Jul 21, 2019 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 named Friday as BMW’s new CEO. 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. Zipse’s confidence and powers of persuasion, evident from his patient explanations with painstaking detail to reporters, will be in demand after predecessor Harald Krueger’s wavering on big decisions produced unhelpful divisions on BMW’s management board. While BMW has ceded the mantle of electric innovator to Tesla Inc.,… Read full this story
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