BMW M VP of Engineering, Albert Biermann goes to Hyundai

News | December 22nd, 2014 by 24
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In a stunning move, BMW M VP of Engineering Albert Biermann leaves the M Performance Division for a similar job at Hyundai. Biermann will be …

In a stunning move, BMW M VP of Engineering Albert Biermann leaves the M Performance Division for a similar job at Hyundai.

Biermann will be in charge of developing performance models and improve ride and handling within the performance cars at a research center.

As executive vice president, Biermann will become the South Korean automakers’ second-highest foreign executive after design chief Peter Schreyer.

“We will have him in charge of developing high-performing vehicles and leading [research efforts on] performance, safety, durability, noise oscillation and system development,” Hyundai said in a statement released Monday in Seoul.

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For years, Hyundai has not only been improving their current line-up but also building sports cars and developing award-winning engines.

“Hyundai’s push to performance cars aims at going upmarket and garnering higher margins,” said Lee Hang-koo, a senior researcher at the state-funded Korea Institute for Industrial Economics and Trade.

Biermann, 57, had been with BMW for over 30 years and will now move to Seoul.

He will also advise on product strategy and marketing for the European market. His appointment “will pave the way for Hyundai-Kia to go head to head with European premium carmakers,” the Korean companies said.

The M division is without a doubt starting a new cycle. Franciscus van Meel (48), ex-Audi chief of quattro, will take over as Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW M from 1 January 2015. He is the successor to Dr. Friedrich Nitschke (59) who will be retiring at the end of the year.

So what does it mean for the future of BMW M? The answer won’t arrive until at least 2020 when the new team in place will have had time to implement their strategies and ideas.

24 responses to “BMW M VP of Engineering, Albert Biermann goes to Hyundai”

  1. HELP says:

    WTF who will replace him?

  2. lekkousa says:

    His success at BMW was due to the talented folks who work under him.
    Quite a test awaits Albert when he brings his ideas to a VERY different corporate culture.

    • JASON says:

      But remember what Hyundai-Kia did with Peter Schreyer. Kia gave Schreyer a full authority. He changed KIA brand upside down in just few years. Korean companies are not like Japanese companies. They can be very quick at changing, and they are good at listening and following the established leader. Biermann will do wonders for Hyundai.

      • Behzad says:

        Yeah like one man is gonna turn the tables for hyundai/kia , if it was that simple why all of BMW’s rivals all these decades haven’t thought of that ?
        Take one man from BMW and turn the tides against them

        hahahhahahahahaha

        At the very best Hyundai is going to rival Lexus F Sports Cars and Nissan Z generation….
        the japanese have made LFA , GT-R , Z, etc.. etc and what hyundai/kia can do is offer a cheaper alternative to them .
        given the chance i’d still go for a japanese car instead .

  3. lekkousa says:

    His success at BMW was due to the talented folks who work under him.
    Quite a test awaits Albert when he brings his ideas to a VERY different corporate culture.

  4. Ofentse Letsholo says:

    Remember what happened to Karim Habib when Merc took him?!, he never lasted and missed BMW. Anyway may he do well wherever he goes ;-)

  5. Ninong says:

    Albert Biermann is 57. That means he had less than three years remaining before BMW’s mandatory retirement age of 60 for senior executives. He’s going to a company where he can expect another 10 years or more before retirement.

    • Horatiu B. says:

      Does the age apply to board members only or all executives?

      • Ninong says:

        “Norbert Reithofer, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW, … close to the regular 60-year-old retirement age for top executives at BMW.” That’s a quote from a recent Reuters article.

        I remember that Dr. Norbert Reithofer was 50 years old when he replaced Dr. Helmut Panke, the previous Chairman of the Board of Management, who was forced to retire at the age of 60. I think that was in 2006. Dr. Panke had only been in the job for 4 years and he made it plain that he would like to stay on but that didn’t happen.

        So I can’t answer your question specifically because I really don’t know. I believe it applies to more than just the Board of Management members but I’m not positive. Obviously it does not apply to the members of the Supervisory Board.

  6. Ninong says:

    I wonder if Biermann’s leaving is in any way tied to the fact that Frank van Meel, the ex-managing director of Audi Quattro GmbH, will be the new CEO of M GmbH?

  7. ELI- 651 says:

    I just hope the BMW M legacy continues… I hope BMW doesn’t change because of this. The M badge is a respected one

  8. jason bourne says:

    Surprising news.

    I just saw a video of him on YouTube for After/Drive.

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