BMW SA managing director and Naamsa president Ian Robertson has been named chairman and chief executive of BMW's Goodwood-based Rolls-Royce division.

BMW SA managing director and Naamsa president Ian Robertson has been named chairman and chief executive of BMW's Goodwood-based Rolls-Royce division.


BMW AG's Board member for Finance Stefan Krause (who has been the acting chairman and chief executive of Rolls-Royce since Karl-Heinz Kalbfell quit the position in October - five months after his predecessor, Tony Gott, left unexpectedly), announced on Monday that Robertson would take up his new post on February 1.


At this stage, no indication has been made with regards to Robertson's successor in South Africa, BMW SA spokesman Richard Carter was quoted as saying.


After Robertson became managing director of BMW SA on April 1 1999, the Rosslyn-based business effectively quadrupled in size, thanks largely to the growth of its 3 Series export programme. Robertson oversaw investment totaling over R3,5 billion in the BMW SA's plant, machinery and technology.


In August this year, the 250 000th 3 Series was produced at BMW's Rosslyn plant in Pretoria. One of the main pillars in BMW SA's export programme, production of the E46 started in 1999. Nearly 70 per cent of models produced at the Rosslyn plant were exported last year, when BMW SA exported 41 046 3 Series models to markets including the United States and Japan.


Robertson became the president of Naamsa (National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa) and the South African German Chamber of Commerce. He was also appointed to serve on President Thabo Mbeki's Big Business Working Group.


Last month, Robertson was named "Industry Man of the Year, 2004". In the award citation, Ian's leadership role in promoting and growing the motor industry export programme in South Africa was given special mention.


Speaking in Goodwood, Krause said: "BMW South Africa is probably one of the most challenging jobs our company can offer: it comprises an important manufacturing plant as well as a highly successful sales subsidiary. Ian's experience is in leading both of these vital sides of the business - and I know his broad skills will transfer extremely well to Rolls-Royce."