Kuhnt also announced that Stefan Richmann has become executive vice president of finance for BMW of North America and CFO of BMW (U.S.) Holding Corp. He succeeds Stefan Walmrath, who has taken a new position at BMW Group that will be announced later.
In his 20 years at BMW Group, Richmann has developed leadership expertise in controlling and budget planning, strategy development and sales, the company said in its announcement. Richmann, a German, most recently held various positions at BMW Group's headquarters, including vice president of price and volume planning and sales steering.
"I am looking forward to working with the entire leadership team to further the success of the BMW Group here in the U.S.," Kuhnt, who has held the top U.S. job since March 1, said in the announcement.
Kuhnt took on the CEO role in advance of former U.S. chief Ludwig Willisch's pending retirement. Willisch remains head of BMW Group Region Americas, a role he had held alongside the top U.S. spot, and oversees Kuhnt and the U.S. market. Though Willisch has acknowledged he will retire soon, no timetable has been announced.
After leading U.S. luxury sales for four out of five years between 2011 and 2015, BMW lost its leadership spot in 2016. BMW's U.S. brand sales slipped 9.5 percent to 313,174 vehicles last year, lagging both Mercedes-Benz's 340,237 luxury-vehicle deliveries and Lexus' 331,228 deliveries.
Through April of this year, BMW's U.S. sales have dropped 1.3 percent to 94,306. It is currently in second place among luxury brands, behind Mercedes-Benz, which has increased sales and recorded deliveries of 106,073 during the first four months of 2017.