American small and medium-size companies that rely on China are scrambling to adjust their business plans in response to the escalating trade war.Traderead more
Here are the products that stand to be the most affected by China's new tariffs on $75 billion worth of U.S. goods.Marketsread more
The summit comes amid fears over a global economic slowdown, and U.S. tensions over trade allies, Iran and Russia.Politicsread more
The world's second biggest economy is past a point where it cannot ignore its enormous debt anymore, according to an analyst.China Economyread more
As demand for lab monkeys continues to rise, U.S. scientists are reporting delays in research projects because they can't obtain enough animals, according to the National...Politicsread more
Trump does have some powerful tools that would not require approval from U.S. Congress.Politicsread more
The European Union will respond in kind if the U.S. imposes tariffs on France over digital tax plan, EU chief Donald Tusk told G-7.Technologyread more
Trump said he will raise tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese goods to 30% and hike duties on another $300 billion in products to 15%.Politicsread more
Carl Medlock used to work at Tesla. Now he's one of the few people in the U.S. that can fix the company's original Roadster electric vehicles.Technologyread more
China said on Saturday it strongly opposes Washington's decision to levy additional tariffs on $550 billion worth of Chinese goods and warned the United States of consequences...Politicsread more
Stocks dropped after Donald Trump ordered that U.S. manufacturers find alternatives to their operations in China.US Marketsread more
FRANKFURT, July 18 (Reuters) - BMW is set to name Oliver Zipse as its new chief executive, picking the manufacturing expert to help the German automaker make the shift to electric and self-driving cars and tackle new competition from technology giants.
The company's supervisory board will discuss new leadership at BMW's U.S. plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina, later on Thursday, after 53-year-old Harald Krueger said he would not be available for a second term as CEO.
Zipse, 55, is now the front runner, with 59-year-old board member for research Klaus Froehlich also a contender, company sources told Reuters.
A fluent English speaker who joined BMW as a trainee in 1991, Zipse has risen through the ranks, holding posts including head of brand and product strategies before becoming board member for production.
Zipse has emerged as favourite because BMW's efficient production network, which he expanded in Hungary, China and the United States, has helped the company deliver industry-leading profit margins despite its relatively small scale.
But experts say auto industry leaders also need other skills for the new era of software-driven electric and autonomous cars.
"A CEO needs to have an idea for how mobility will evolve in future. This goes far beyond optimising an existing business," said Carsten Breitfeld, chief executive of China-based ICONIQ motors, himself a former BMW engineer.
"He needs to be able to build teams, to attract key talent, and to promote a culture which is increasingly oriented along consumer electronics and internet dynamics."
Being able to cope with shorter product cycles and new technologies, and a willingness to take bold decisions, are among the qualities needed, Breitfeld said.
BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz have dominated the market for high-performance limousines for decades, but analysts warn a shift towards more sophisticated technology and software is opening the door to new challengers.
"Tesla has a lead of three to four years in areas like software and electronics. The millennials are much more focused on these things. There is a risk that the Germans can't catch up," UBS analyst Patrick Hummel said.
BMW had an early lead in premium electric vehicles but throttled back its ambitions after the i3, an expensive city car, failed to sell in large numbers, leading Tesla to overtake BMW in electric car sales.
Krueger's reluctance to push low-margin electric vehicles led to an exodus of talented engineers, including junior managers like Christian Senger, now Volkswagen's board member responsible for software, and Markus Duesmann, who is seen as a future Audi CEO.
Duesmann and Senger were poached by Volkswagen (VW) CEO Herbert Diess, himself a former BMW board member responsible for research who defected in 2015 to implement a bold 80 billion euros electric car strategy at VW.
Zipse, who prefers suits and ties to open shirts and sneakers, will need to ramp up BMW's software expertise as new players like Amazon and Google muscle into the mobility sector.
"Production expertise is important, but if you want to avoid ending up being a hardware provider for Google or Apple, you need to have the ability to move up the food chain into data and software," a former BMW board member said, declining to be identified. (Reporting by Edward Taylor; Additional reporting by Paul Lienert, Ben Klayman and Jan Schwartz; Editing by Mark Potter)