March 5, 2003

BMW Chairman urges resolution to German-American tensions

Geneva, Switzerland – In a speech to the automotive press on Monday evening, Dr. Helmut Panke, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG, urged Americans and Germans to overcome tensions related to the current Iraqi situation.

“In the interest of the German automotive industry and in the interest of our companies, it is essential to overcome the tension that has now come to bear on German-American relations which, by tradition, have always been good. Whilst we currently do not see any dramatic effects on our business, ongoing tension and misunderstandings may leave their mark on business relations and endanger jobs,” he said.

“This is a year of global political upheaval. We are all aware of the situation. But it is not my job this evening to speculate on how things will develop. Naturally, we all hope that the crisis will be solved quickly. No country and no company is an island. We are all interwoven through international connections – the BMW Group, for example, employs some 10,000 associates both directly and indirectly in the USA.”

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