BMW Boss Krueger To Step Down In 2020

 

German car giant BMW said Friday its boss Harald Krueger would not seek another term when his current office runs out next April.

“The Supervisory Board will address the matter of succession in its next meeting on 18 July 2019,” said the group in a statement.

Krueger, 53, had been under pressure over criticism that he has not moved swiftly enough in steering the group through the shift from combustion to electric engines, according to German media.

Krueger took the helm at BMW in May 2015, shortly before the diesel emissions scandal broke at rival Volkswagen and dragged the German automotive sector into a cloud of general suspicion.

With tougher anti-pollution measures gradually coming into force, the car group, like other European auto giants, has been forced to shift gears to electromobility.

“After more than ten years in the Board of Management, more than four of which as the CEO of the BMW Group, I would like to pursue new professional endeavours and leverage my diverse international experience for new projects and ventures,” said Krueger, who has worked more than 27 years at BMW.

BMW To Recall 360,000 Cars In China Over Defective Airbags

 

Germany’s BMW will recall 360,000 vehicles in China as part of the worldwide effort to root out defective airbags made by now-defunct Japanese supplier Takata, regulators in Beijing said.

Around 20 people have died in accidents linked to defects in Takata airbags since 2013, prompting a massive worldwide recall of at least 100 million cars from a wide range of manufacturers.

The recall will affect nearly 273,000 models built by BMW’s joint venture with Chinese manufacturer Brilliance Automotive and more than 87,000 imported BMW cars, China’s State Administration for Market Regulation said.

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The agency said in a statement posted on its website late Tuesday that a defect could cause the airbags to eject debris at passengers if deployed.

It did not mention any specific incidents caused by the BMW-installed airbags.

The China recall affects more than two dozen different BMW models built between 2000 and 2018, including several each in the i, X and M series, along with other models.

The suspect parts will be replaced for free, the notice said.

Founded in 1933, Takata went out of business in 2017 because of the airbag crisis.

The BMW announcement came as global carmakers were gathered for the Shanghai Auto Show amid a rare sales slump in the world’s largest vehicle market.

AFP

Criminal Case Filed Against BMW Over South Korea Car Fires

Criminal Case Filed Against BMW Over South Korea Car Fires
(FILES) In this file photo taken on March 21, 2018, the logo of German car maker BMW is pictured on a wheel on the sidelines of the company’s annual press conference in Munich, southern Germany. CHRISTOF STACHE / AFP

 

A group of BMW owners in South Korea filed a criminal complaint against the German automaker Thursday over alleged delays in recalling more than 100,000 cars after a spate of engine fires, their lawyer said.

The timing of the recall, which was issued last month, is already the subject of a government probe, after more than 30 BMW cars — mostly the 520d sedan model — caught fire this year in South Korea.

BMW apologised Monday for the fires, blaming a faulty component that was aimed at reducing emissions from diesel engines, but that has done little to allay the concerns of angry consumers, who say the firm should have issued the recall sooner.

Johann Ebenbichler, vice head of BMW in charge of quality, told reporters the carmaker became aware of a problem with the component in 2016 but managed to identify the root cause of the fires only in June this year. He did not provide further details.

Lawyer Ha Jong-sun said he had filed a criminal complaint against six people including Ebenbichler on behalf of 20 BMW owners and one victim of a BMW vehicle-related fire.

“It is hard to believe that BMW took two years to determine the cause of the car fires… A criminal investigation is necessary to secure evidence of a cover-up,” Ha told AFP.

The offence carries a prison term of up to 10 years or a fine of up to 100 million won ($89,400) under South Korean law.

Images of BMW vehicles bursting into flames have made headlines in the South recently, with some parking lots refusing to accept the cars because of fears they could catch fire.

BMW has blamed a faulty component called the exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) cooler that generated excessive sediment and caused engines to catch fire, and said the problem was “not Korea specific”.

The company also issued a recall for 323,700 cars across Europe this week due to the same problem.

Apart from the criminal complaint, the beleaguered automaker is also facing a class action lawsuit in the South, filed by 17 owners who are demanding compensation from the company, Ha said.

In South Korea, six out of 10 imported cars are from Germany.

BMW sold nearly 39,000 cars in the first six months of this year, according to the Korea Automobile Importers and Distributors Association.

AFP

Kogi Police Parades 45 Criminal Suspects

policeThe Kogi State Police Command has paraded 45 suspected criminals, including a lady for alleged kidnapping, armed robbery and cattle rustling activities in the state.

Also paraded among the 45 suspects were 72-year-old Ahmed Andoke, a relative of former Minister of Justice, Mohammed Andoke, and an All Progressive Congress (APC) candidate in the last House of Assembly election for Okehi State Constituency, Idris Ozi Shuaibu, and a cripple alleged to be in custody of stolen items and financing some criminal gangs terrorizing the state.

Following the upsurge of activities of armed bandits, kidnappers, social miscreants and hoodlums in the state the Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase, deployed a special anti-crime task force to relocate to the state and quickly address the situation.

The State Governor, Idris Wada, has promised to give out the sum of 5 million naira to anybody with credible information that will lead to tracking down the kidnappers terrorizing the state.

On parading the suspects and their loot, the Public Relation Officer (PRO) of the force, Emmanuel Ojukwu, said the squad has in the last three weeks quickly design a template to contain the situation.

Items recovered from the suspects are: 3 faces prepaid meters, AK 47, double barrel guns, locally made Dane guns, cartridges, charms, pump action, cars, cutlasses, military camouflage uniform, ATM cards etc.

Two of the harden criminals popularly called cat and target, were said to be terrorizing people of the Okene axis and were alleged to have killed some Policemen on duty and went away with their guns, were called for questioning.

Though Journalists could not ask questions from the suspects, and this made some of the suspects protest by shouting out, while others claimed it was a  frame up.

The police said the suspects will be charged to court after the completion of their investigation, not until then, they will be under the custody of the Police.

Porsche targets rich Nigerians’ love for luxury

Nigeria’s super rich are no strangers to conspicuous consumption, and there’s no better way to flaunt your wealth than by buying a brand new European sports car.

German carmaker Porsche officially opened a new car dealership on Friday in the heart of Lagos’ wealthiest district, Victoria Island, a place with one of the world’s highest concentrations of millionaires.

There are already dealerships specialising in Aston Martin and Lamborghini, but Porsche hopes to capitalise on a promise of providing sturdier vehicles that can cope with Nigeria’s rough roads. Its presence is being seen as a vote of confidence in the West African nation’s fast-growing economy.

Porsche also plans to set up an operation in the capital Abuja, where roads are newly built – a better market for the 911 sports model – and where politicians are amongst the world’s most highly paid.

“The African continent, and in particular Nigeria, is of growing importance to us at Porsche,” the company’s Middle East and Africa head George Wills said, unveiling the new 911 model.

High-end goods producers are increasingly targeting sub-Saharan Africa, as its economic growth starts to dwarf other continents and rich Western countries face a slowdown.

Nigeria, Africa’s second biggest economy, grew 7.68 percent in the last quarter of 2011, one of the fastest in the world.

Two of Africa’s top five richest men are Nigerian.

“We’re quite confident the numbers will be strong,” Wills told Reuters in front of the new 911 sports car, after a Porsche official revved its engine for flashing cameras.

“It’s difficult to put a finite number on it, but certainly enough to give a return on this investment,” he added.

Porsche Nigeria general manager Julian Hardy estimates 200 Nigerians own Porsches – the dealership had been running prior to the official launch since July and sold an undisclosed number, and rich Nigerians have been importing them for decades.

THE RICHER RICH

At a party to celebrate Porsche’s launch, Nigerians in sharp suits and cocktail dresses drank martinis and danced around the 911 display model to live music.

“You can drive around Lagos … then take your car to the race track and become a beast and go wild,” said Emmanuel Ngala, an IT consultant who owns a Cayenne 4×4 and is buying a 911.

The firm’s sales target for 2012 is 100 cars, and it hopes to hit a stable sales rate of around 300 a year, compared with 800 in South Africa. Average prices currently range between 21 million naira to 30 million naira.

The oil wealth of Africa’s biggest producer has made multi-millionaires of its elite in the past few decades, even while absolute poverty has increased to 60 percent of the population.

Lagos embraces some of Africa’s most expensive real estate alongside some of its most crowded slums. On one street, a Hummer drives past a tramp sifting through a dustbin.

The car park at the Porsche show rooms has several models.

“It’s a nice car,” said employee Mohammed Ibrahim, as he hosed down a chrome coloured Cayenne and shined it to a sparkle with a cloth. On his 20,000 naira a month salary it would take him 125 years to afford one if he didn’t buy anything else.

“God might give me a car like this one day. He can do that, if he wants to. He can do anything,” he said, grinning.

BIG MEN AND MOTORS

Sandwiched between the lagoon that led Portuguese sailors to name this city ‘Lagos’ and the Atlantic, Victoria Island is a place of fund managers in fine woollen suits and oil oligarchs.

The faces of glamorous women smile from billboards advertising mobile phones. Luxury 4x4s are everywhere.

But it has scant electricity, most roads are sandy, potholed and patrolled by beggars in rags. Poor drainage means they flood – in the rainy season, fishermen sometimes traverse them by canoe, raising doubts about the practicality of sports cars like a 911.

Other luxury brands have however made it big in Nigeria. It is a significant African market for LVMH. Most bars can get you Moet & Chandon champagne or Hennessy brandy, which women sip next to their Louis Vuitton handbags.

The “Auto Lounge” in Victoria Island lets you enjoy an expensive drink overlooking a garage of Aston Martins.

Paris-based magazine Jeune Afrique last year placed Nigeria at the top of Africa’s champagne consumers, guzzling 593,000 bottles in 2010, 50 percent more than richer rival South Africa.

REUTERS