BMW and Walkenhorst: This relationship has existed for more than 65 years, and new chapters are added to the success story every year, for a long time on the production scene, and now for a number of years in motor racing. Decades of experience in the automotive industry, a healthy portion of entrepreneurial spirit, and the right sense for the market have resulted in the Walkenhorst Group becoming one of the biggest car dealerships in Germany. The company has always focussed primarily on BMW models.
At the top is Henry Walkenhorst, who heads the family company, which is now in its third generation. Not only does he have business acumen in his blood, but also a passion for motorsport. His father, Harro, was active on the rally scene and Henry was soon bitten by the bug. “The racetrack was my second home,” said the owner of the Walkenhorst Motorsport team, for whom motor racing has become more than just a hobby.
He combines his profession and his passion with skill and great success. “The idea, which we came up with years ago, was to combine professional racing with our business, to encourage more people to buy sporty BMWs from us,” said Walkenhorst. “It has worked very well. And it is working very nicely." The customers say, ‘If Walkenhorst is actively involved in motorsport, and is doing well, then he is probably better than others’. That has been our approach, to a certain degree. And it has worked well in recent years. We have been able to credibly get the message across to our customers: We are successful on the motorsport scene. Consequently, we have seen an increase in the sales of our M vehicles, such as the M240, the M3, the M4 and the M5.” Henry Walkenhorst is successfully using motor racing as a perfect marketing tool.
At the same time, running his own race team also gives him the opportunity to take his place behind the steering wheel and actively pursue his passion. When his team triumphed at Spa-Francorchamps in 2018, the boss himself also raced alongside Ralf Oeverhaus, Anders Buchardt and Immanuel Vinke in a BMW M6 GT3, and finished fifth in the AM class. The name Henry Walkenhorst is also regularly to be found in results lists in the NLS and at other endurance races. In November 2019, for example, he won the AM class at the 9 Hours of Kyalami together with Michael Von Rooyen and Gennaro Bonafede. The race in South Africa was the finale of the Intercontinental GT Challenge – an endurance series, in which the Walkenhorst Motorsport team has contested the full seasons since 2019, and in which it has caused quite a stir in 2020.