Chicago, IL – September 7, 2010… Jim
O’Donnell, President of BMW of North America, LLC launched the
company’s “DRIVE IT HOME – DON’T TXT &
DRIVE” campaign today with the help of Evans Scholars, local
teens and automotive partners including Group 1 Automotive, and the
Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana BMW Centers at a special Teen
Driving School to kick off the BMW Championship at U.S. Cellular Field
in Chicago, Illinois. PGA Tour player, Brian Gay, also
attended the event to speak about the importance of road safety.
All proceeds from the driving event benefits the Evans Scholars
Foundation, which provides full university tuition and housing grants
to deserving young caddies.
O’Donnell, an advocate against behaviors associated with
distracted driving commented, “Being a good corporate citizen is
a BMW core value and we are particularly committed to promoting safe
driving through eliminating driver distractions.”
Additionally, he said, “Road safety goes to the heart of the
company’s DNA and we advocate not only the safety of our own
customers, but the safety of everyone on the road. Our teen
driving school and ‘DRIVE IT HOME – DON’T TXT &
DRIVE’ campaign give us the opportunity to invest in our
children, raising awareness about the risks of driving and helping
them to develop lifelong safety habits.”
Earl Hesterberg, President and CEO, Group 1 Automotive, which owns 15
BMW and MINI dealerships throughout the U.S., was pleased to team up
with BMW to promote the early education of young drivers.
"We are excited to partner with BMW to sponsor its Teen Driving
School coinciding with the BMW Championship," commented
Hesterberg. "Driver awareness and safety for teens have
never been more important given the many distractions confronting
young drivers today – such as texting while driving. We
are proud to support BMW in its efforts to help keep teen drivers safe."
BMW’s “DRIVE IT HOME – DON’T TXT &
DRIVE”campaign is an important addition to the teen driving
school program. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration, 87 percent of teens admit to texting while
driving. At the teen driving school, students learn this
behavior is one of the most dangerous actions a person can do behind
Dan Gubitosa, Director, BMW Performance Center noted, “Our
driving instructors teach that it’s vital to remain focused on
the road ahead and be aware of one’s surroundings. If you
are on the cell phone or texting while driving, you are not able to
anticipate or react intelligently to hazardous situations. Our
new campaign on distracted driving creates awareness about the
consequences of this action affecting not only teens but everyone who
drives a vehicle.”
The BMW Teen Driving School is a grassroots initiative under the
company’s Corporate Social Responsibility program combining
teens, road safety and local community outreach. It is a recent
extension of the teen curriculum offered at the BMW Performance Center
located in Spartanburg, SC. Students improve their driving
skills and increase their road knowledge through classroom
instruction, driver awareness activities and hands-on driving exercises.
Since BMW became a presenting sponsor of the BMW Championship in
2007, the BMW Championship has raised a total of $7.3 million for the
Evans Scholars Foundation. BMW also offers a summer internship
program that invites the scholars to work for BMW, offering them
invaluable insight into their future careers after graduation.
At the 2010 BMW Championship, BMW will also continue its
tradition of pledging a four-year Evans Scholarship in honor of the
first player who scores a hole-in-one during the tournament.
For photos and video from the BMW Teen Driving School / BMW
Championship Kick Off Event, visit bmwusanews.com.
BMW Group In America
BMW of North America, LLC has been present in the United States since
1975. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars NA, LLC began distributing vehicles
in 2003. The BMW Group in the United States has grown to include
marketing, sales, and financial service organizations for the BMW
brand of motor vehicles, including motorcycles, the MINI brand, and
the Rolls-Royce brand of Motor Cars; DesignworksUSA, a strategic
design consultancy in California; a technology office in Silicon
Valley and various other operations throughout the country. BMW
Manufacturing Co., LLC in South Carolina is part of BMW Group’s
global manufacturing network and is the exclusive manufacturing plant
for all X3 Sports Activity Vehicles, X5 Sports Activity Vehicles and
X6 Sports Activity Coupes. The BMW Group sales organization is
represented in the U.S. through networks of 338 BMW passenger car
centers, 336 BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers, 143 BMW motorcycle
retailers, 99 MINI passenger car dealers, and 31 Rolls-Royce Motor Car
dealers. BMW (US) Holding Corp., the BMW Group’s sales
headquarters for North America, is located in Woodcliff Lake, New
Jersey. Information about BMW Group products is available to
consumers via the internet at: www.bmwgroupna.com .
# # #
Journalist note: Information about the BMW Group and
its products is available to journalists on-line at the BMW Group
PressClub at the following address: www.press.bmwna.com.
Additional information, images and video may be found at www.bmwgroupusanews.com.
Broadcast quality video footage is available via The NewsMarket at www.thenewsmarket.com.