Pineiro takes over at BMW
Thomas J. Plucinsky has left his position as general manager of BMW Motorrad USA, a division of BMW of North America, LLC, Woodcliff Lake, N.J., and the German manufacturer’s motorcycle operation in the U.S. is now led by Arturo Pineiro, former head of BMW operations in Spain.
Plucinsky hasn’t left BMW, however. Following the lead of his predecessor, Edward A. Robinson, he moved to the manufacturer’s U.S. automobile division.
Plucinsky began spearheading BMW’s U.S. motorcycle operations in 2001 after12 years with the manufacturer. He joined the BMW automobile division in Canada in 1989, holding positions in corporate communications, product planning, service engineering and technical training. Thereafter, he was named as motorcycle manager at BMW Canada, to be followed in the U.S. by aftersales manager, motorcycles, with responsibilities for service, parts, accessories and apparel business development, then GM.
“Thomas Plucinsky transitioned over to the automobile side of the business, where he originally started with the company,” BMW’s Roy Oliemuller told Powersports Business. “He left the automotive division at BMW Canada with his old boss, Ed Robinson. Now, like Ed, he’s back working with cars here in the U.S.”
What prompted the sudden change in leadership?
“I think he (Plucinsky) just had the opportunity to get into a different position,” Oliemuller said. He said Pineiro held a number of high-profile positions at BMW Motorrad España before being selected by company leaders in Germany to run the U.S. motorcycle operation.
Pineiro’s placement wasn’t the only U.S. leadership position to be revised for the new year. As of Jan. 1, 2004, BMW AG is appointing a separate manager for each of its U.S. segments - passenger cars, Sports Activity Vehicles and Motorcycles — under whose leadership all the relevant marketing functions will be grouped together.
In the new organization, Torsten Müller-Ötvös will take over responsibility for the BMW brand; Dr. Kay Segler will be assigned to the Mini brand; and Howard Mosher will handle Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. Müller-Ötvös will also be in charge of central marketing functions for the BMW Group.
The three segment managers will report to Dr. Michael Ganal, a member of the board of management of BMW AG responsible for sales and marketing.
Once the reorganization has been completed, Karl-Heinz Kalbfell, head of Central Marketing within the BMW Group, will take over the sales organization for Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe and the Pacific, effective July 1, 2004. He succeeds Lüder Paysen, who is retiring
The year 2003 marked the 80th anniversary for BMW motorcycles. While an anniversary-related trip planned for buyers of the Rockster Edition 80 did not pan out, it seems the brand enjoyed a successful birthday in terms of total sales.
At the end of October, BMW Motorrad USA reported a 20% increase in year-to-date sales over the same period in 2002. Prior to that, in July, it reported sales during the first six months of 2003 increased 19% compared to the same period last year.
New BMW motorcycle models in the U.S. last year included the K 1200 GT, a more touring-oriented version of the K 1200 RS, and the R 1150 R Rockster, joined by the aforementioned limited edition Edition 80.
While those bikes will continue in the BMW line-up for 2004, brand dealers already are making room for a new member of the R 1200 C cruiser family, the Montauk.
The Montauk is placed between the R 1200 C and the R 1200 CL. The front end features two vertically arranged headlamps that sit below a new windscreen. The widened BMW Telelever front suspension system, and the revised rear Monolever suspension, are borrowed from the R 1200 CL. These components make room for wide wheels and tires, sized 150/80-16 at the front and 170/80-15 at the rear. The remainder of chassis is derived from the R 1200 C Classic.
Distinctive features include new side covers and a narrower but higher passenger seat. The powertrain is carried over from the other Cruiser models, which all receive a revised transmission using newly designed gear patterns for improved shift action and resulting in reduced noise.
Producing 61hp and 72 pound-feet of torque for a 0 to 60 mph sprint in 5.8 seconds, the R 1200 C Montauk will list for $14,990. Heated handgrips and a clear windscreen will be standard; color choices include Champagne Metallic, Sapphire Black Metallic and Arctic Blue Metallic.
The Montauk and all other 2004 model year R 1200 Cs will feature Two Spark ignition. This new ignition system utilizes twin spark plugs in each Boxer cylinder head to more efficiently light off the combustion charge, increasing fuel efficiency, improving throttle response and reducing emissions. Unlike some twin-spark designs, the BMW Two Spark fires both plugs simultaneously and works in concert with the four-valve cylinder heads and combustion chamber.
BMW of North America has been present in the United States since 1975. The BMW Group sales organization is represented in the U.S. through networks of 340 BMW car and 148 BMW Motorcycle retailers.