Press Release: Ludwig Willisch (52), formerly President of BMW M GmbH, will take over as head of the BMW Group’s European sales region with immediate effect. In this capacity, Willisch will be responsible for sales of BMW and MINI automobiles in all European countries outside of Germany. With sales of 517,000 vehicles in 2008, this region accounts for 39% of the BMW Group’s total global retail volume, making it the most important of the company’s six regions in terms of sales performance.

“In Ludwig Willisch we have an outstanding manager with a great wealth and depth of experience for this important position. He is the right person to lead our biggest sales region successfully, even through difficult times,” said Ian Robertson, Board Member for Sales and Marketing.

Willisch, who holds a degree in economics, started his career with the BMW Group in 1996 as head of the Düsseldorf branch. He gained further national and international sales experience as head of the sales subsidiaries in Germany, Japan and Sweden. Under his leadership, sales of BMW M GmbH products increased by some 50% last year to stand at more than 24,000 units.

Ludwig Willisch’s successor at BMW M GmbH will be Dr Kay Segler (54). Until now, Dr Segler has been responsible for the 100 markets around the world that BMW Group Sales serves via local importers. His previous positions include four years as brand manager for MINI and a period as director of the BMW Group’s regional office in Singapore.

BMW M GmbH plays a significant role within the BMW AG portfolio. With adequate efficiency, its high-performance automobiles are expected to remain in strong demand around the world. At their recent unveiling in Shanghai, the M versions of the BMW X5 and BMW X6 garnered an extremely positive response.

Marco Saltalamacchia, head of European sales since 2007, will prepare for a new area of responsibility.