So what has happened to BMW?

July 29, 2009

Marion Theissen (left) with Mark Jenkins and Ken Pasternak (co-author of Performance at the Limit)

Mario Theissen (left) with Mark Jenkins and Ken Pasternak (co-author of Performance at the Limit)

I’m currently working on a revised version of my F1 Constructors Case study (see on the blogroll) to appear in the ninth edition of the best-selling strategy textbook ‘Exploring Corporate Strategy” by Gerry Johnson, Kevan Scholes and Richard Whittington. In amending the case I looked at the top performing teams of 2008 these were (in performance order) Ferrari, McLaren and BMW. It made me think so what on earth has happened to BMW this year?

When we interviewed Mario Theissen back in April 2008, we were greatly impressed by the coherent plan and objectives that he articulated for the F1 operation.

Also when we spoke to Mario he was a enthusiastic supporter of KERS, a technology that BMW has now abandoned. This is in contrast to both McLaren and Ferrari who stuck with it and now appear to be reaping the rewards, albeit in the latter part of the season. Should BMW have stuck with KERS and by pulling out of it are they now ‘stuck in the middle’ with a car designed for KERS, but without a competitive system? As I mused over these ideas I put together a draft blog to work on today, we now hear that an announcement is imminent that BMW will withdraw from F1. I will update the blog as we get more information, but it looks like the Honda story only a year later.

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