BMW names Bernhard Kuhnt as new CEO for North America

News | February 2nd, 2017 by 12
BMW Bernhard Kuhnt 750x500

In a press release today, BMW announced a major change at the top of its management team in North America. BMW said it named Bernhard Kuhnt …

In a press release today, BMW announced a major change at the top of its management team in North America. BMW said it named Bernhard Kuhnt to become CEO of BMW of North America effective March 1. The position was previously held by Ludwig Willisch, who will be stepping down as the CEO of the BMW of North America, while retaining his position as head of BMW Group Region Americas.

Kuhnt and the operating heads of all BMW sales subsidiaries in North, Central and South America, report to Willisch.

BMW Bernhard Kuhnt 750x463

Kuhnt, 49, will be responsible for the U.S. market, BMW said. He currently is responsible for the BMW Group importer markets, overseeing sales in more than 80 countries.


“I am delighted to welcome Bernhard Kuhnt to our Americas team,” Willisch said in the statement. “Bernhard brings many years of experience in the global automotive industry to his new role here in the United States. “

12 responses to “BMW names Bernhard Kuhnt as new CEO for North America”

  1. DanielH says:

    Hoping he brings the 5 series touring with him.

  2. Shane says:

    My question is: does he actually like cars?

    I sick of seeing big wigs in charge who don’t get the essence of what they’re in charge of – rating success by number of patients cured in the ER, rating intelligence by standardized test scores, etc. I hope he can actually make people excited about the cars and driving. BMW has been quite the snooze fest.

    • guest says:

      What’s your idea of an exciting manufacturer?!

      • Shane says:

        Actually a lot these days: Dodge, Alfa Romeo, Porsche, Cadillac, Jaguar, Lexus, and many more… even Honda and Toyota basically said that they’re aware they’ve been a snooze fest and are working to fix it. Many “normal” cars are getting competitive, sporty, and simply higher quality. BMW is a great brand, and I’m not an armchair forum hater or anything like that, but there has been a definite shift in priorities and some really cool traits went with it. I have a 2001 E38 M Sport in my garage. That generation 7 series sold in a manual, bright red, a low and legit sport suspension that didn’t float, and so many other “cool” features and traits that the new 7 would never entertain because it’s simply not that type of car anymore. I find that unfortunate. No one would pick a 7 for an action movie anymore for any “real” driving, and for all other driving, we have the S Class. I’ll never forget having an F30 loaner when they first came out and it feeling like an SUV around tight corners. Again, I’m not an armchair hater, but there are some serious philosophical flaws at BMW, and I hope a new CEO can help change it.

        • guest says:

          The only BMW I’ve owned was an e9, at the time the company’s flagship. The closest thing to it now in the line up is the entry level 230i & it even has more hp. When your e38 was made, BMW were selling under a million units annually, more than double that now. But out of 2 million units, you can still get an M2. Have you read about the Jalopnik/Chris Harris 320i? BMW haven’t betrayed core values, you just have to look harder for them. Were it not for crossovers, BMW could have lost its independence to GM, Ford, India or China long ago. Instead we have the i3 & i8 & who knows what else in the future. BMW have been my spectator sport since 1970, I will continue to watch, even if some of their product seems mundane. Don’t remember a 7 in action movies, aside from 007 autonomous product placement, but didn’t Tom Cruise just wreck a fleet of M3’s?

          • Shane says:

            Thank you for being respectful to my opinions because too often these days everyone gets cut throat. I do realize BMW makes hidden gems, especially when optioned with specific packages, but you never had to do that back in the day – the cars drove wonderfully from the start. I do agree that BMW needed to adapt to the marketshare, but that doesn’t necessarily mean to rid the cars of their famous driving characteristics. All the luxury brands chase each other, so now Lexus is making BMWs and BMW is making Lexuses!

          • guest says:

            Would still sooner own a BMW than most of the competition, the 230i is still closest to my e9. I guess I have it easy because when I started following the company they had ONE model. So it’s been nothing but change since. Bring it on! And you’re right about Lexus & BMW, met a 5 owner who traded his Lexus because it was too hard-edged.

  3. guest says:

    Are they bringing him to Trump’s America because of the name? Good luck Bernhard!

  4. Dailybimmer says:

    Bring the 1series sedan/ hatchback to the USA. Make Bmw great again.

  5. rich chinnici says:

    both my wife and I have owned bmw’s for years, we really love the cars; but since I ordered my new car at the end of march of 2017 and today being 9/15/17 and I still have not received my car; so this is ridiculous; still waiting for someone to call me back and explain it; maybe Bernard Kuhnt can take care of this problem; oh yeah, after the delay in Germany for 4 months it came to the states and now they said they have a recall on the front seat belts; that’s right ! it normally takes 2-3 weeks to build a car but 5-6 weeks to put in seat belts; hopefully anyway

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