BMW AG wants to increase its total work force around the world to over 104,000 employees and intends to add 4,000 new workers this year, according to CEO Norbert Reithofer. At the 2012 Geneva Auto Show, Reithofer told Automotive News Europe that the BMW Group had about 100,000 employees at the end of 2011. Its new employees for this year will be assigned mostly to the “fields of r&d, purchasing and sales."
Last year, BMW was able to raise its global work force by 5% to 100,306 people. This figure includes the staff of ING Car Lease, a fleet management company that BMW bought in 2011. This is the first time that BMW increased its work force since 2007 when BMW had 107,539 workers. BMW had its highest number of workers in 1998 with 118,489 people.
BMW Group is adding more employees as last year, it broke records for unit sales (1.67 million), revenues (68.8 billion euros) and pre-tax profit (7.4 billion euros).
Reithofer said that for 2012, the company is “optimistic” and anticipates that its growth will surpass that of the total global passenger-car market. Morgan Stanley said that total global light vehicle sales are expected to increase by 6% to 74.1 million units this year. BMW Group is relying on high sales of models like the new BMW 6-series Gran Coupe, which made its debut at the Geneva Auto Show.
It’s also hopeful about the demand for the new Roadster and Coupe Countryman from Mini, says Autonews. The Roadster had started selling in Europe last February. The Coupe Countryman is set to make its debut later in 2012. Reithofer said that in the mid-term, it will be selling 400,000 Minis. In 2011, the Mini brand sold 285,060 units.
When asked whether BMW is prepared to cope with the drop in demand as the result of Europe's poor new-car sales, Reithofer said that as the current production system is “extremely flexible,” it can equalize fluctuations in demand by as much as 15% in both directions. BMW seeks to increase sales of BMW, Mini and Roll-Royce models to at least 2 million cars annually by 2020.