Johanna Quandt 1926–2015

BMW headquarters, Munich

Johanna Quandt, wife of Herbert Quandt and matriach of the family who owns 47% of BMW, passed away last week. She was 89.

She took a place on the BMW supervisory board in 1982, after her husband died in 1982 and held the role until her retirement in 1997.

She is survived by her two children, Stefan and Sussane. Johanna’s 16.7% shareholding will be passed down to her children. According to Car magazine that will leave Stefan with 26% of BMW’s shares, while Sussane will hold 21%.

The Quandt family helped protect BMW from a takeover bid from Daimler after WWII and have since played an integral role in the company’s fortunes. It’s worked pretty well for the Quandt’s too, who are one of the wealthiest families in Europe.