Helmut Panke, board member for finance and sales at BMW AG, is skeptical about companies that go on cost-cutting campaigns. Panke says BMW has a better way: Don't let costs build up in the first place.
'Anyone who can do big cost cuts at one time has not been cutting costs during the year,' Panke said. 'We always watch costs all the time so that we do not have to do any spectacular cost-cutting suddenly. I don't see myself as a cutter of costs. We do all that all the time, and after talking to workers' councils.'
Panke also seems unimpressed by the virtue of bigness. Although BMW is relatively small, it will have no problem supporting research and development.
'As my father used to say, a fishmonger has to sell many herrings to earn as much as a jeweler does with one ring. That is it. Our quota for research and development on sales is marked by the fact we sell very expensive cars. Our shares are rising, contrary to most shares in the auto industry.'