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Quandt family breaks silence; sticks with BMW

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Quandt family breaks silence; sticks with BMW

Automotive News -- December 13, 2010 - 12:01 am ET

It has long been a fascinating parlor game in European auto circles. For decades there has been conjecture that the Quandts, the reclusive German family that controls BMW, might cash out some day, sparking a bloody bidding war for the Bavarian automaker.

The family never addressed the issue publicly, but recently broke its silence. The Quandts used the 50th anniversary of taking over the company to tell the auto world that they're not going anywhere.

In his first public appearance as a BMW spokesman, Stefan Quandt committed his family to further involvement.

"When this celebration reaches its end in what we hope is a festive mood, then it will again be all our task to shape 'the future of the present,'" said Quandt, 44. "As a family, we are looking forward to this."

Stefan Quandt, his mother, Johanna, and sister Susanne Klatten own 46.7 percent of BMW directly and indirectly, thus controlling the company. Herbert Quandt, Stefan's father, acquired control of the then-distressed BMW on Nov. 30, 1960. A year earlier, BMW barely escaped Daimler-Benz's takeover attempt.

"With his high-risk investment, Herbert Quandt secured independence for BMW," Stefan Quandt recalled. "As a family, we have accompanied the firm along this path."

Read more: http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20101213/OEM02/312139962/-1#ixzz1806enkT2

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