Ludwig Willisch new president of BMW of North America

News | July 26th, 2011 by 17

As reported by us last week, Ludwigh Willisch will replace Jim O’Donnell as CEO of BMWUSA. First rumors of his replacement were heard by BMWBLOG …

As reported by us last week, Ludwigh Willisch will replace Jim O’Donnell as CEO of BMWUSA. First rumors of his replacement were heard by BMWBLOG team at New York Auto Show, but we refrained from speculating on it. Here is the official press release.

Munich/Woodcliff Lake – July 26, 2011… Ludwig Willisch (55), currently responsible for the BMW Group’s European sales region, will take over from Jim O’Donnell (61) as president of BMW of North America, effective October 1st, 2011. Willisch, who holds a degree in economics, began 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.

Ludwig Willisch new president of BMW of North America

O’Donnell, who has managed the BMW Group’s North American sales since 2008, will be retiring. The BMW Group achieved a substantial increase in sales on the U.S. market in the first half of the year. 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. Last year, the company delivered 266,580 automobiles to U.S. customers – an increase of 10.1%.

Ian Robertson, member of the Board of Management, responsible for Sales and Marketing at BMW AG: “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.”

A successor to Willisch for the BMW Group’s European sales region will be announced at a later date.

[Source: BMW ]

  • Xfreshx

    How can I get in touch with mr o’donnell

    • Ls11962

      information for you

  • Sigridkln

    How can i get in touch with Herr Ludwig Willisch? As a German living in the us would like some help dealing with a dealership, vob, Rockville md. Vielen Dank. sigrid Klein

    • Jlkcane

      I also want to be able to get in touch with Mr Williisch? Does anyone know how to reach him? Did you find an address or number? Thank you!

      • Dkekstadt

        Did anyone ever get back to you with the information?

        • Ls11962

          infor 4 you. read my post

    • Ls11962

      infor 4 you

  • Ls11962

    Mr Ludwig is at the BMW of North American LLC Corporate at
    300 Chestnut Ridge Rd in
    Woodcliff Lakes, New Jersey 07677.

    or you can write to the the big honchos in Germany.

    BMW Corporate Head Quarters
    Petuelring 130
    Munich, Bavaria 80788 or call

    I keep calling NJ myself about the problems with my car since day 3 of buying the car.
     It’s been in the shop every month for the past 15 months for all the cover up they did to it. I think im the only person who gets to drive a different BMW car every month.
    I keep getting the run around from dealer ship, now i am getting it from  BMW of North America in New Jersey. They are trying to black male me into signing a release in order to get my 2 month payment they owe me for having my car for over 2 months. INSTEAD of fixing everything that is wrong with the car, they fight me on it. THEY SOLD Me a $30,000 car that had  6/32 tires on them.
    What dealership does that. They have no respect for the cars. Its all about the BUCK in their pocket.

    They are giving me tons of problems because they know i want to speake to Mr Willisch.
    I keep calling and asking to speak to Mr Willisch but they will not let me talk to him or even make an appointment to see him.. They tell me he does not speak to the customer.
    BMW doesnt stand by their Pre-owned cars. They fix up the really beat up cars from some idiot ran into the ground when the leased it and the cover everything up and sell it for $30,000 when its worth 15,000. who does that.. greedy people…

    They dont sell real CERTIFIED pre-owned cars. They sell used cars. They touch the paint up, that falls off and spray the car leather  sets that fades off,  to make it look new and sell it like the previous owner took really good car of it. NOT!!!!!!!!

    I will be in tough with Mr Lugwig Willisch. I can assure you of that.
    any comments or problems you had, you can email me at:  id love to hear them.

    • cmascali

      Where you ever able to get an email or direct number for Ludwig Willisch. I have a problem that needs to be addressed by him.

  • Ls11962

    By the way, thats just a breif of what the problems are to my car. i didnt add in the.
     heating system, electrically system, shaking of the dash board, transmission,the lifter, the car has been in a accident and fixed by a bad auto body shop. 5 different layers of paint that peeling off.and so on…. just a brief….

  • Kbhattt

    BMW cars are repair monsters and the BMW company is heartless and least customer friendly.
    I have a 2006 BMW, 58K miles. It has a steering column problem and needs replacement ($1400). I called BMW customer service and two days in a row they told me they will do something, at the least as a goodwill gesture once I have the final diagnosis. When I called them today with the news for replacement, their supervisor flatly refused, unfriendly and basically threw the book. Promising and then going back on their promise is cheating.
    The ultimate driving machine needing steering column by 58K miles!!! come on!!
    There are numerous complaints about this safety issue, BMW therefore replaced the column apparently with a different type in 2007. I have filed a complaint with NHTSA, all those who have this problem, please file a complaint with NHTSA and contact me (
    Worst of all, promising to do something and then rejecting to do anything is cheating customers, stay away from these cars and people.

  • josseppi

    Bmw of minnetonka in minnesota is the worse dealer that dont care about customers need .more than lied and use all the old tricks to ripp you off.over promised under deliver.please be advised that if you are not super rich or white american you will be treated like a second class citizen. I contacted Mr tim Cramer the GM of the minnetonka BMW dealer to express my terrible experience and he didnt have the courrage to call me back. Simply he didnt care a bout my purchase or my friend purchase. I gave the second chance to BMW for a purchase .i try to reach Mr peter hasselquist the owner and i was told he is on vaccation overseas while someone try to make honnest purchase.please stop ling to your customers over the phone. Shame on yuuuuuuuuuu.i will never do business ever and ever with yuuuuu.i called customer service relation of BMW and make a note for nothing. No one have a minute to call me and make it right or happen for me.i will be going to mercedes me and my collegue and we will make sure that everyone in town knows about it.face book ,tweetre,linked in…….

    • TimCramerBMW


      If this was written a little more cohesive maybe someone would take you seriously.

  • Peter

    The add during the Olympics sends the wrong message. Where one can take from someone who bas earned what they own. I am a BMW. Owner for many years but. I WILL NOT BE ASSOS WITH THIS MENTALLY.


  • Manfred

    I am the proud (not) BMW 750LI 2009 owner and am discussed with the quality and reliability of this piece of junk. I will get lawyers involved and make sure BMW will have to fix their problems and not just ignore customers. I am also developing a social media site for unhappy BMW owners. I used from 2009 until now one barrel of oil in this car yes BMW does supply the oil which is telling you that they do know they are having problems. I am sure the EPA will not be happy to hear that we are burning so much oil which I am sure is environmentally friendly.
    Contact me at if you have similar experiences

  • zak

    Sent: Wednesday, March 12, 2014 11:03 AM
    To: ‘'; ‘'; ‘'; ‘'; ‘'; ‘'; ‘'; ‘'; ‘'; ‘'; ‘'; ‘'; ‘’
    Subject: FW: 2011 328i

    This was your leased vehicle!! Now it’s not your problem???? You put a car back into the market place you know has major problems???

    From: []
    Sent: Wednesday, March 12, 2014 10:48 AM
    Subject: RE: 2011 328i

    Hi Sean,

    Thank you so much for providing all of the documents I asked you to. I sent this to the BMW Management team and unfortunately we cannot assist you.

    Kind regards,

    BMW of North America, LLC
    Fran Kirnum
    Western Region Team Lead
    Customer Relations and Services
    P.O. Box 1227
    Westwood, NJ 07675-1227

    Tel: 201 263 8217
    Fax: 201 930 8484

    Sent: Wednesday, March 12, 2014 11:43 AM
    To: Kirnum Fran, B2-US-H-31
    Subject: RE: 2011 328i


    Attached is a copy of the lease details from BMW Financial Services that originally leased the vehicle. Section 19 and 32 clearly state that the lease holder is required to maintain the vehicle and keep copies of the maintenance. BMW leased this vehicle and is responsible for its condition.

    Received a call from BMW North America today saying “Sorry not our Problem”! We know the car was sent into the market place like this but we are going to void the manufactures warranty and you need to pay us $7000 to fix. BMW of America CEO Ludwig Willisch said the company is intensifying its “customer-driven focus” with the changes, which take effect Jan. 1.

    Good Afternoon,
    I recently purchased a 2011 BMW 328i from a local dealership (not a BMW dealership), the vehicle had 30,000 original miles on the car and was still under manufactures warranty. Shortly after (about 2 days) I purchased the vehicle the check engine light came on and knowing that it was still under warranty I took it to my local dealer to get it check out. The day after I dropped the vehicle off they called and said they had found the problem and it would take a few days to fix. Several days later I received a call requesting I come down so that they could show me an issue they found with the vehicle. After I arrived they walked me out to the vehicle and showed me (picture attached) what they found as they began break down the vehicle to fix the known problem. Well, comes to find out that the previous owner that was leasing the car from BWM failed to do an oil change for the entire period of the lease. As you can see from the picture this has caused A LOT of damage. The dealer informed me that they would need to get approval to fix the vehicle do to this finding. The continued to hold the vehicle for the next 2 weeks waiting on approval or denial to make the necessary repairs. As of this morning I received a call from the local dealer telling my BMW has denied to cover the repairs and now has voided the warranty. I now own a vehicle that needs major repairs that when I purchased had a full warranty on anything that may has gone wrong. Here are a few reasons I disagree with BMW’s denial to repair:
    • This was a BMW lease and I would be surprised that they were not aware that the vehicle hadn’t had an oil change during the entire life of the lease. I know that BMW keeps records on every vehicle and would be aware that there is a red flag here.
    • Why did they sale the vehicle to another party knowing that there were red flags with the lack of regular maintenance performed on the vehicle
    • As you can see from the picture, the area just below the oil cap was cleaned in the case someone looked inside they would see the damage
    • This vehicle was looked at by 2 local BMW dealerships and GIVE A CLEAN BILL OF HEALTH. Neither flagged the lack of any records regarding the scheduled maintenance. Both of these dealerships looked at the car before I purchased it.
    o BMW of Fremont, CA did an inspection and Oil change on the vehicle and knew there was serious issues and still sold the car.
    I am asking you to reconsider the decision that has been made as I think there were multiple areas where this could have been caught prior to the resale of the vehicle. I am a single dad and I now am sitting on a vehicle that I purchased for $25,000 and unable to cover cost of the repairs and unable to drive.

    • Cara Page

      Wow, I purchased 550gt in 2010 car was in repairs 10 times in a year. Global BMW imports in Atlanta traded assisted me out of that into another promising that this issues would never happen again. The second car was in the repair shop 17 times in one year. I emailed Mr. Ludwig and BMW of NA all documents and repair orders of both vehicles. All 27 of them. The car is currently in repairs. I have had to hire a attorney and file a lawsuit as BMW of NA has negotiated nothing in good faith or fairly towards me and my family who have paid dearly been loyal all these years and have had horrific experience with their vehicle. It has been truly he worst experience dealing with such dishonest tactics especially given the at times almost life tragic experience my family has had in their ‘Ultimate Driving Experience’ mr. Ludwig never responded. I hope no one has to endure what we have in the ownership of these vehicles and we will let the court deem what is fair reasonable and just. Shame on Global BMW imports, BMW NA for foregoing the opportunity to do the right honorable thing by a loyal consumer who has lost all confidence in their Brand and in this Corporation