Norbert Reithofer, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG, explains BMW's decision to quit F1
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Thank you for joining us at such short notice here today.
Yesterday, the Board of Management made the following decision:
• We will realign our motor sports activities.
• The BMW
Group will end its Formula One activities at the end of the 2009 season.
• We will remain active in the field of motor sports, focusing on close-to-production motor sports and promoting young drivers.
• We will pool our expertise and financial resources in the fields of sustainability and new technology development.
In 2007, we set the foundation for a strategic realignment of the BMW
Group by adopting our Strategy Number ONE. Now we are rolling out this strategy in all areas within the BMW
In addition, we initiated an internal change process that goes hand in hand with a new mindset throughout our workforce.
All measures and activities aim for the same goal, namely to ensure our company's future viability.
This is the focus to which we are dedicating our resources and capacities, while constantly adjusting them to new requirements.
Group is the world's leading premium car company in the automotive industry. We believe that this demands accountability
• with respect to our products,
• with respect to who we are as a company,
• with respect to our social commitment,
• and with respect to the premium business model.
We are of the opinion that the premium segment has to remain a positive role model within our society.
By launching our Efficient Dynamics technology program, we began early on to reduce our vehicles' fuel consumption and emissions significantly. Today, our BMW
and MINI fleet in Germany consumes a mere 5.9 litres of fuel on average. This is below the average of Germany's largest-volume brand.
Sportiness and dynamics remain the key attributes of all BMW
models, albeit paired with responsibility.
At the IAA, we will showcase a concept car as a“CO2 champion” to demonstrate a whole new dimension of driving pleasure with regards to efficiency with performance.
In line with our Strategy Number ONE, we are continually reviewing all projects and initiatives to check them for future viability and sustainability.
We made this clear with the initial announcement of our Strategy Number ONE. And, naturally, this also includes motor sports.
And I have always been clear about my position on making tough decisions that will help ensure the BMW
Group's success over the long run.
As our company places stronger focus on sustainability initiatives, our participation in Formula One becomes less a key promoter of this engagement.
It goes without saying that this step was very difficult for us — as well as for me personally.