Franciscus van Meel (48) will take over as Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW M GmbH from 1 January 2015. He is the successor to Dr. Friedrich Nitschke (59) who will be retiring at the end of the year. Back in May, we reported that Franciscus van Meel, head of Audi’s quattro GmbH performance division, Franciscus van Meel, will be joining BMW. In January 2014, van Meel was relieved from his duties and replaced by longtime R&D executive Heinz Hollerweger and initially was believed that will take a senior executive position in China.
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Francisus van Meel will already be joining the BMW Group on 1 October. Since 1996 he has held various management positions in chassis development and the technical steering of vehicle projects at Audi AG before becoming Managing Director of quattro GmbH in 2012.
Dr. Friedrich Nitschke worked for the BMW Group for a total of 36 years. Since joining the company in 1978 he has held management positions in various company areas before taking over as director of development strategy, steering and testing. From 2007 to 2011 he headed vehicle development of the MINI brand. In 2011 he became Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW M GmbH. Under his leadership the category BMW M Performance Automobiles was created as well as the new generation of the BMW M3 and BMW M4 models developed.
Dr. Herbert Diess, Member of the Board of Management for Development: “The position of M GmbH on the market has never been better in the company’s history and it continues to achieve sales record after sales record. Friedrich Nitschke has done outstanding work over the past years and has made a crucial contribution to the success of the company. The entire Board of Management of BMW AG would like to express its gratitude to him.”