Corporate Governance at Bayerische Motoren Werk

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Case Details:

Case Code : CGOX014
Case Length : 11 Pages
Period : 2004
Pub Date : 2004
Teaching Note :Not Available
Organization : Bayerische Motoren Werke (BMW)
Industry : Auto and Ancillaries
Countries : Europe

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Bayerische Motoren Werke (BMW) was one of Europe's top automakers. The company's products included motorcycles, cars, software (softlab GmbH) and motorcycling apparel such as leather suits, gloves, and boots.

Despite poor worldwide economic conditions, BMW had a good year in 2002. The introduction of the Mini (vehicle-brand name) in the US was a hit.

BMW also successfully re-launched the Rolls-Royce brand after taking over control of the nameplate from Volkswagen. BMW ended the year 2002 with revenues of $44,315.8 million and a net income of $2,117.2 million.

Background Note

In 1913, Karl Rapp opened an aircraft-engine design shop near Munich. He named it Bayerische Motoren Werke (BMW) in 1917. The end of WWI brought German aircraft production to a halt. BMW shifted to making railway brakes until the 1930s.

BMW introduced its first motorcycle, the R32, in 1923. The company began making automobiles in 1928 after buying a small-car company Fahrzeugwerke Eisenach.

In 1933, BMW launched a line of larger cars. The company built aircraft engines for Hitler's Luftwaffe in the 1930s and stopped all auto and motorcycle production in 1941.

Under the Nazis (period of emergency of Nazism in Germany), BMW operated in occupied countries, built rockets, and developed the world's first production jet engine. With its factories dismantled after WWII, BMW survived by making kitchen and garden equipment...

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