BMW of North America Announces Management Team Changes
Woodcliff Lake, NJ – April 26, 2016…. Ludwig Willisch President and Chief Executive Officer, BMW of North America is pleased to announce the following changes to his management team effective May 1, 2016.
J. Chris Koenders, Executive Vice President, Operations, will return to Europe and assume a new position, Head of Project Retail Channel Performance Europe. This will include bringing structure, performance and innovation to BMW corporate stores in Paris, London, Madrid, Zurich, Vienna, Brussels, Amsterdam, Milan, and Rome. Chris will also work on key, strategic retail channel topics for the European Region.
Chris started with the BMW Group in 1993 as a Management Associate at BMW of North America. From 1993 to 2000 Chris held several positions based in Munich in product management and marketing, and became head of International Exhibitions in 1997. In 2000, Chris was responsible for the successful global re-introduction of the MINI Brand. From 2003 to 2006 he directed innovation projects including the launch of the Hydrogen CleanEnergy fleet and the setup of the Connected Drive business globally. In 2006, Chris became the Vice President of BMW Brand Communications and BMW Group Marketing Services, where, in addition to directing major global launches and branding activities, he also introduced the BMW EfficientDynamics Program. Prior to joining BMW of North America in 2014, Chris held the role of President BMW Group Netherlands since 2010.
Petter Witt will assume the role of Executive Vice President, Operations replacing Chris. In his new role, Petter will be responsible for all BMW sales operations within the U.S. Petter is transitioning from his current role as Regional Vice President, Western Region.
Petter originally joined BMW of North America as a Management Associate. He had risen to Field, Regional and HQ Operational positions of increased responsibility before being promoted in 2006 to Regional Sales & Marketing Manager (RSMM) in the Central Region based in Chicago. After successfully steering the BMW sales and marketing results in the Central Region for 4 years, Petter took an expat assignment in Munich as Sales Director for the Importer Regions Africa, Caribbean and Eastern Europe. In January of 2013, Petter took over the responsibilities for BMW Sweden as their Managing Director before returning to the U.S. in January of 2014.
Under Petter’s leadership as Regional Vice President, the Western Region has not only fully embraced the Future Retail designs, it has also successfully integrated the BMW Genius program and has become the bestselling region for our progressive BMW i line up. Petter also developed very strong relationships with the dealer network and built a highly motivated regional team that led the Western Region to become the largest market in the United States for the first time since 2006.
“I want to thank Chris for his contributions to the U.S. market and also welcome Petter in his new role as Executive V.P.” said Ludwig Willisch, President and CEO, BMW of North America. “We all send best wishes to Chris and family as they return to Europe. I am also convinced that with Petter’s expertise and enthusiastic leadership, we are poised for further success in sales and in working with our dealer network.”
BMW Group In America
BMW of North America, LLC has been present in the United States since 1975. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars NA, LLC began distributing vehicles in 2003. The BMW Group in the United States has grown to include marketing, sales, and financial service organizations for the BMW brand of motor vehicles, including motorcycles, the MINI brand, and Rolls-Royce Motor Cars; Designworks, a strategic design consultancy based in California; a technology office in Silicon Valley and various other operations throughout the country. BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC in South Carolina is part of BMW Group’s global manufacturing network and is the exclusive manufacturing plant for all X5 and X3 Sports Activity Vehicles and X6 and X4 Sports Activity Coupes. The BMW Group sales organization is represented in the U.S. through networks of 341 BMW passenger car and BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers, 153 BMW motorcycle retailers, 125 MINI passenger car dealers, and 36 Rolls-Royce Motor Car dealers. BMW (US) Holding Corp., the BMW Group’s sales headquarters for North America, is located in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.
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