The representatives of Automobile Bavaria specify that the special BMW 320ix vehicles offered to the Romanian Police “do not represent luxury cars”, but are vehicles specially designed for the authorities and offered at a special price, writes News.ro.
They show that the businessman Michael Schmidt – a close associate of President Klaus Iohannis – no longer holds any position within the companies in Romania and is not involved in their operational activity. “Given the non-involvement of his lordship in the commercial activity or in the decision-making process within the companies registered in the Holding, no connections can be made between Mr. Schmidt’s personal life and the activity of these companies”, they state.
“We have been active in Romania since 1994, being the first importer of the BMW brand on this market. Starting in 2007, we became a Competence Center for BMW special sales on a local level. Worldwide, for over 60 years, a special department of BMW AG has been collaborating with international government authorities to develop vehicles that meet the highest standards. Paramedics, firefighters, policemen – all those who work in the emergency services have one thing in common: their work requires outstanding performance in exceptional situations. The vehicles used by them are of vital importance. The BMW Special Sales department supplies special vehicles systematically developed and perfected together with authorities around the world. In Romania, the authorities have been using BMW motorcycles since the 1960s, along with 150 other countries in the world. Automobile Bavaria is the main supplier of motorcycles for the authorities in our country for the last 25 years. In 2009, we delivered to the Romanian Police a first batch of BMW 3 Series special vehicles”, it is stated in a press release sent, on Wednesday, by Leonhard Georg Pfeffer, CEO and administrator of Automobile Bavaria, in the context of the information related to the auction organized by the Police Romanian.
According to the cited source, the company has been participating in international public auctions for over 25 years, and the priority “as a participant is to ensure that we can meet the organizers’ requirements with a competitive offer”.
“As in any acquisition process in which we are involved, we respect without exception the officially communicated steps and procedures. Also, we offer our full support to the authorities in the efforts to clarify the conditions of the auction”, specify the representatives of Automobile Bavaria.
According to them, the contracts with the public authorities do not have a significant weight in the turnover of the company, representing less than 5% of the annual deliveries of Automobile Bavaria.
“The BMW 320ix special vehicles offered by IGPR are not luxury cars. They are inscribed, equipped with optical and acoustic warning systems, additional battery for special equipment and additional set of winter wheels. They are vehicles specially designed for the authorities and offered at a special price. Moreover, for the entire duration of the contract, we are committed to maintaining the established price, even if there could be changes in the car market that would cause an increase in the list prices. BMW vehicles are efficient from the point of view of maintenance costs. The service intervals offered by BMW are among the longest in the industry, being much longer than those offered by domestic manufacturers, for example. Service intervals for the BMW 320 xi are 25,000 km. The warranty offered under the contract is 5 years/max 200,000 km. In 100,000 km, the BMW 320 xi requires 4 revisions”, adds the quoted source.
Failure to register for the first auction
Automobile Bavaria representatives explain that the failure to register for the first auction organized by IGPR was caused by production limitations, a situation known throughout the automotive industry in recent years.
“Regarding the speculations appearing in certain publications regarding the possible involvement of Mr. Michael Schmidt in our participation in this auction, we would like to clarify the fact that the founder of the Automobile Bavaria and MHS Truck & Bus companies no longer holds any position within the companies in Romania and does not is involved in their operational activity. At the level of the MHS Holding registered in Austria, the Romanian business represents a part of the activity, together with companies from Germany and Austria. Considering the non-involvement of his lordship in the commercial activity or in the decision-making process within the companies registered in the Holding, no connections can be made between Mr. Schmidt’s personal life and the activity of these companies”, the statement emphasizes.
“The BMW brand remains among the top preferences of drivers in Romania, due to its performance, safety and reliability. We are glad that we managed, with the support of the BMW Special Sales department, to ensure the production capacities for the batch of BMW 320xi special vehicles intended for the Romanian Police, at a time when the entire global automotive industry continues to face great challenges”, stated Leonhard Georg Pfeffer, CEO and administrator of Automobile Bavaria.
Auction with “dedication”
G4Media reported that the tender through which the General Inspectorate of the Romanian Police (IGPR) buys 600 BMW cars from Automobile Bavaria SRL, a company run by Michael Schmidt, the friend of President Klaus Iohannis, is considered to be “dedicated” by both the police unions , as well as automotive publications.
The contract has a value of 98 million lei without VAT.
In response, President Klaus Iohannis declared that this friendship did not matter and emphasized that it is inadmissible for his name and position to be involved in such a matter. Iohannis added that he expects the state authorities to make checks.
“About my friendship, I can tell you that it certainly didn’t matter, and my information about this procedure is only what appeared on open sources, that is, on the media. But I can tell you one thing very clearly, if there are suspicions, then we have enough competent authorities to check these things”, declared Klaus Iohannis, referring to the purchase of BMW cars by the Romanian Police.
The Minister of the Interior, Lucian Bode, presented, last week, the conclusions of the Control Body in the case of the purchase of BMW cars for the Police from the company of a close associate of the president Klaus Iohannis, showing that “the tender is correct, and Mr. Drula knowingly misinforms” . “The entire public procurement process was carried out by the contracting authority – IGPR – in compliance with the principles of objectivity, transparency and legality”, affirms Bode. He criticized the statements of the former Minister of Transport Cătălin Drula: “Drula makes serious accusations, with personal attack, talking about documents signed by him. It would be laughable if there were no crying. Drula asks the DNA to report itself. What should we understand now? That he is self-denouncing”. At the same time, Bode claimed that those who try to distort the purpose of some MAI projects by trying to obtain political capital “through lies and misinformation” are “small people”. Referring also to the discussions related to other acquisitions, Bode stated: “I saw a joke on social networks and it said that the policemen in these conditions will no longer purchase stun guns, they will purchase nettles. It’s a bitter joke, but we are in this situation”.
Publication date: 12-10-2022 22:47
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