BMW of North America Names New President, Jim O'Donnell to Retire

Jim O’Donnell (61), who has been the president of BMW of North America since 2008, will be retiring from October 1st 2011, when Ludwig Willisch (55), currently responsible for the BMW Group’s European sales region, will take over his responsibilities.

Willisch started his career with the BMW Group in 1996 as manager of the BMW branch in Düsseldorf. He gained further national and international sales experience as head of the local sales subsidiaries in Germany, Japan and Sweden.

Prior to assuming his current position as head of European sales, Willisch was president of BMW M GmbH. Under his leadership, sales of BMW M GmbH products increased by some 50% in 2008 to stand at more than 24,000 units.

“I would like to thank Jim O’Donnell for his tireless commitment during his successful career. I would also like to wish Ludwig Willisch every success. With his many years of solid experience in the automobile business, I am confident that he will maintain our successful course in the U.S. in the future,”
stated Ian Robertson, member of the Board of Management, responsible for Sales and Marketing at BMW AG.

The BMW Group achieved a substantial increase in sales on the U.S. market in the first half of 2011. A total of 143,974 vehicles (+18.1% year-on-year) were sold in the U.S. through June, making the region the BMW Group’s second-largest market in the first half of 2011.

As a global company, the BMW Group operates 25 production and assembly facilities in 14 countries and has a global sales network in more than 140 countries.
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