Michael Schmidt: “I have always been against the flow”

President of Automobile Bavaria Group, Michael Schmidt is a Transylvanian Saxon born in Brașov County; he immigrated in Germany as a teenager and came back to Romania in 1990. He returned here to carry out socio-cultural projects supporting the Saxon community and has never given up on these. But, meanwhile, he founded one of the strongest auto corporate groups in Central and Eastern Europe – importing BMW, MINI, Rolls-Royce cars and MAN trucks in Romania. Only after the business was consolidated in Romania, the group made a successful leap into the German market, despite the ongoing EU economic crisis.

The stories of the thousands of Saxons who left Romania these last two decades are overshadowed by sorrow; no matter how well they have managed to restore their lives in Germany, many of them are missing their Transylvanian home very much. What is the story of your coming back here?

That is true; the Saxons leaving has been a painful experience for most of our community members. The emotional bond with their home towns can be still seen today, when the second, or even third generation Saxons actively participate in the projects developed by the associations in the field and return periodically to Romania and organize reunions in Germany on a regular basis.

The activity I carried out for the Transylvanian Saxons association during the `90s, has kept me close to Romania and I returned here to coordinate some social projects. While I was a student I worked as a volunteer for this association and back then, there were some funds from the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs which, initially, were intended to go into Ceaușescu`s accounts to pay for the Saxon emigrations. Now that Ceaușescu was gone, the money became available for other projects.

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