BMW's Kuenheim New President of IMMA

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Hendrik Kuenheim, CEO of BMW Motorrad, has been appointed president of the International Motorcycle Manufacturers Association (IMMA). Kuenheim takes the place of Minoru Harada, head of operations at Honda Motor Co. and vice chairman of JAMA's motorcycle committee, who stepped down after two years in office.

The appointment occurred at the IMMA's annual General Assembly, held May 6 and 7 in Toronto. IMMA members include OEMs and national and regional associations representing the motorcycle industry around the world.

The IMMA's mission is the development of international regulations and standards affecting the construction and the use of motorcycles. The organization participates in the work of the United Nations committees on vehicle construction and road safety, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the Asian Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) organization and the European Council of Ministers of Transport (ECMT). IMMA was founded in 1947 under the name Bureau Permanent International des Constructeurs de Motocycles. The name changed to IMMA in 1987.

Kuenheim, 48, announced that his program would involve carrying on IMMA's mission to further seek worldwide technical harmonization. Furthermore the new president stated that IMMA's involvement at political level in the safety debate needed to gain momentum.

Kuenheim said the plan for insuring the future of motorcycling in Europe is to show lawmakers that motorcycles can be a safe and environmentally friendly transportation option. "The way we respond to these expectations will determine the size of tomorrow's markets," he said. "Coordination across all industry associations needs to be attained in order to tackle legislative hurdles at national, regional and international level.

"It is a matter of making the right strategic choices; connecting current and future initiatives in a coherent way and developing necessary relationship, partnership and activities."