From being a maintenance planner at BMW , Norbert Reithofer was able to work his way up to being the head of production, and finally to being the company’s chief executive.
Judging from his associates, his ability to build his network of alliances is indubitable. For example, the former CEO and now chief of BMW’s supervisory board is Joachim Milberg who was actually Reithofer’s thesis adviser in graduate school.
This does not say, however that Reithofer’s ability to make alliances is limited to the top level. In 2002, he was able to halve the time requirement for full production of the next-generation three series from 6 months to three, with Burkhard Goeschel, BMW’s Development Chief.
The increased level of production did not compromise the cars’ quality, as skeptics would like to think. Reithofer and Goeschel was able to assemble a team of R&D who worked for three years. From its introduction in March, none of the produced cars were reported to have any quality problems. Reithofer believes that managers should be role models and should work together.
Being the CEO, Roethofer will seek to keep the managers and workers to stay ahead. At present, he is expecting brands like Toyota’s Lexus and Nissan’s Infinti to set up plants in Europe and work on building BMW-like cars.