Frankfurt motor show: New BMW CEO collapses on stage during hybrid unveiling

German premium brand was hoping to show off its two new plug-in hybrids, the 225xe Active Tourer and the 330e

BMW is denying any long-term implications after its CEO Harald Krueger collapsed on stage while giving a speech in Frankfurt on Tuesday.

The 49-year-old Dr Krueger was treated by a doctor after he collapsed in a "moment of dizziness", BMW spokesman Maximilian Schoeberl said.

Mr Schoeberl insisted the CEO was already feeling unwell before the early morning presentation after recently returned from a series of intercontinental business trips.

He explained Dr Krueger was stable and recovering well after grabbing his head and collapsing to the floor.


Dr Krueger was able to walk off the stage with help from to BMW staffers, though the presentation was thrown into disarray and the Bavarian company never had the chance to properly present its two new plug-in hybrids, the 225xe Active Tourer and the 330e.

Dr Kreuger was only recently promoted to the top job at BMW following the departure of his predecessor, Norbert Reithofer, to the position of BMW Group Supervisory Board Chairman, in May this year.

It was Dr Kreuger’s first presentation as BMW CEO at the company’s biennial home motor show. He was previously BMW’s director of production.

Mr Schoeberl would not comment on any potential share-market implications on the high-profile incident at Germany’s largest trade show, though insiders suggested any fallout would be cushioned because an unusually large percentage of BMW’s shares are tied up within the Munich-based Quandt family.

The 330e is a production-ready, rear-drive, plug-in hybrid version of the 3-Series, which gives its heartland sedan 185kW of combined system power and 420Nm of torque.

While it quotes an official NEDC combined fuel economy figure of 1.9 litres/100km and a CO2 emissions figure of 44 grams/km, it is still good for a 0-100km sprint in 6.1 seconds.

The 1660kg sedan has a 225km/h top speed and can run for up to 40km as a pure-electric car, at speeds of up to 120km/h.

It combines a 135kW/290Nm version of the 2.0-litre, four-cylinder, twin-scroll turbo petrol motor with a 65kW/250Nm electric motor, which is mounted between the engine and the eight-speed automatic transmission.

Though the lithium-ion battery only 7.6kW/h of energy, it also shrinks the luggage capacity down to 370 litres because it raises the height of the boot floor.

The 225xe is an all-wheel drive, plug-in hybrid version of the 2-Series Active Tourer, which effectively runs the powertrain of the i8 sports car, but turned around backwards.

It’s a rear-wheel drive car when it runs in electric mode, front drive when the 1.5-litre, three-cylinder petrol motor is doing the driving or all-wheel drive when both motors are called on.

Based on the UKL architecture (and, therefore, likely to come in the next generation MINI Countryman and Cooper, plus the next X1 and X2 BMWs), the 225xe does away with any mechanical links between the front and rear axles.

It reaches 100km/h in 6.7 seconds and has a 202km/h top speed, but delivers a 2.0-litre/100km (46 grams/km) economy figure on the NEDC cycle.

The 1660kg five-door hatch has the potential, BMW said, of 41km of pure electric range. The extra 150kg comes from the 7.7kW/h lithium-ion battery, the steel fuel tank (it’s usually plastic), the electronics controller and the need to run a two-speed transmission at the rear for the electric motor as well as the traditional six-speed automatic.

It has 165kW and 385Nm, with 100kW and 200Nm of that coming from the 1.5-litre, direct-injection turbo petrol engine up front. It also has a 15kW electric motor attached directly to its petrol engine, which acts as the starter motor, the generator and acts as an overbooster on hard acceleration.