Burkhard Goschel has played a crucial role in helping BMW live up to its claim of being The Ultimate Driving Machine.
Not long after his 1978 arrival from rival Mercedes-Benz, Goschel became a key member of the team developing BMW's first diesel engines. Those 2.4-liter engines debuted in 1982 in the 3 and 5 series. While part of the company's engine development department, Goschel also helped create BMW's first 12-cylinder gasoline engine.
BMW's board member in charge or research, development and purchasing since 2000, Goschel is now focused on the development of the carmaker's two newest models. BMW announced at this year's Geneva auto show that it will build a van-like vehicle in Europe and a crossover vehicle in the US. Both cars are due in 2008.
Name: Burkhard Goschel.
Title: BMW board member for research, development and purchasing.
Languages: German, English, French.
Family: Wife Margareta and three sons, Jan, 30; Stefan, 28; and Philipp, 24.
Countries lived in: Germany.
Education: A degree in mechanical engineering from the Munich Technical University; a doctorate in mechanical engineering from the Stuttgart Technical University.
What is in your garage: BMW M3 CSL and two BMW motorcycles.
If you could work in another industry what would it be:
The development of BMW's first diesel engines; its first V-12 engine; and a new generation of boxer engines for the company's motorcycle division.
How do you relax?
Driving cars or motorcycles though the mountains.
What is the first thing you do when arrive home from work?
Kiss my wife.
What kind of books do you read?
History. One of my favorites is Max Frisch [a Swiss-born novelist and playwrite].
What book are you reading now?
A travel guide about Bahrain, which is teaching me about a country with a history that dates back to 3000 B.C. Obviously there is a lot more there than just a Formula One racetrack. [Bahrain was added to the F1 race schedule in 2004.]
If you could meet any figure from history, who would it be?
What is your strongest personality trait?
When are you not at your best?
When I don't have enough sleep.
What is the most fun you had last year?
A driving trip with my wife from Turin to San Remo in a 6-series convertible.
What are your most treasured possessions?
I am not focused on possessions.
What CDs are in your car right now?
Pink Floyd, but I also have a lot of classical music. Most of the time I listen to [Luciano] Pavarotti.
Where would you like to live?
Where I live right now, in Munich.
What are your strongest attributes as a leader?
Having a very strong relationship with the 20 people I work with directly.
What is your greatest regret?
That I haven't created a racing motorcycle yet.
What is your current state of mind?
I'm very happy with my family life and my job.
What is your greatest fear?
None. I am an optimist.
What is the trait you most dislike in others?
Not being able to simplify complex situations.
What is your greatest extravagance?
Making time in my schedule that is just for me.
What is your favorite restaurant?
I have several Italian restaurants in the Munich area that I really like.
Where do you like to shop?
In downtown Munich.