Peter Schwarzenbauer is the newly appointed BMW board member responsible for Mini, Rolls-Royce, BMW motorcycles and group aftersales. Schwarzenbauer, who is now 53 years old, used to be Audi’s sales chief. For over four years, Schwarzenbauer headed Audi’s sales and marketing division. He is the successor to 47-year-old Harald Krueger who will be handling the duties left by Frank-Peter Arndt as BMW production head.
Arndt, who is now 57, has decided to depart the company because of health reasons. These management changes will be effective on April 1. Schwarzenbauer was able to help Audi with its worldwide expansion by raising the presence of the brand in the U.S., increasing sales volumes in China, and expanding market share throughout Europe while sustaining its profitability.
He departed from Audi last August under a wider management reorganization by parent Volkswagen Group. Luca De Meo, who used to be Fiat’s chief marketing officer, succeeded Schwarzenbauer at Audi. Meanwhile, Krueger, the youngest BMW board member, got a promotion from being the head of human resources to his present job last April.
This position was created by giving Krueger tasks previously supervised by BMW sales chief Ian Robertson. Krueger is known among insiders as a formidable candidate to succeed BMW CEO Norbert Reithofer, who had managed the automaker's worldwide production for six years before he was appointed as chief executive in September 2006.
Reithofer, who will be 57 in May, is committed to a contract until 2016, which is when he’ll be 60 and will have to retire. Arndt started his career with BMW Group in March 1983. He managed the company’s plant located in Dingolfing, southern Germany, before he was named to the management board in September 2006 as Reithofer's successor as BMW production chief. In a statement, Arndt said that he chose to leave BMW because of concerns related to his health and family as well as a sense of responsibility for the BMW Group.