After graduating Abitur at the professional school in Munich, he started to study Mechanical Engineering at the University of Munich, but changed to Marketing and Management. After graduation he became a scientific co-worker at the university with fellow student Joachim Milberg, under whom he gained his Doctorate.
In 1987 he joined BMW as head of maintenance planning. From 1991 to 1994 he was Director of the Body in White Production Division, an internal department of BMW's R&D department. From 1994 to 1997 Reithofer then became Technical Director of BMW South Africa. From 1997 to 2000, Reithofer was President BMW Manufacturing Corporation (USA), based in Spartanburg, South Carolina.
In March 2000 he returned to Munich to join the BMW Board of Management, responsible for production. In 2002, Reithofer and Development Chief Burkhard Goeschel halved the standard BMW time it took to reach full production of the new generation E90 3 Series, from six months to three.
- Pen Picture BMW Group
- "A Role Model For The Team Player". Business Week. 2006-10-16. http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/06_42/b4005075.htm. Retrieved on 2008-05-13.
- Dr. Norbert Reithofer to Succeed Helmut Panke as BMW Chairman BMW News