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BMW to Exit Formula One at End of 2009 Season.
Munich.The BMW Group will not continue its Formula One campaign after the end of the 2009 season. Resources freed up as a result are to be dedicated to the development of new drive technologies and projects in the field of sustainability. BMW will continue to be actively involved in other motor sports series. The landmark decision to restructure BMW Motorsport’s activities was made at the Board of Management’s meeting yesterday.
Statement by Dr. Norbert Reithofer, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Press Conference on the Realignment of BMW AG’s Motor Sports Activities
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 Group.
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.
The BMW 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 liters 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.
On behalf of the entire Board of Management, I would like to express our immense gratitude to Mario Theissen for his commitment and successes.
Everyone knows that the BMW brand embodies sportiness with sheer driving pleasure. Sportiness and fair competition are firmly encoded in our DNA.
This is why we will remain loyal to motor sports. But we will do this in series that enable us to transfer technology more directly and to realize additional synergies, while strengthening our brand values. This is in our customers’ best interest.
As a company, we are making a paradigm shift based on our Strategy Number ONE. We are setting new priorities in an ever-changing environment.
The focus of the BMW Group will be towards sustainable development over the next years and decades to come.
Our vision remains clear: to be the leading provider of premium products and premium services for individual mobility.
We will pursue this vision with resolve.
Thank you for your attention.