Franciscus van Meel, former CEO of Quattro Gmbh has just been appointed head of the M Division. In what had to have been a long planned move (likely in order to lure the young executive from Audi) BMW has named the rising star to lead it’s halo division mere months since van Meel stepped down from his job at Audi.

Leaving the position is Dr. Friedrich Nitschke who is retiring after 36 incredible years at BMW and MINI. Dr. Nitschke, long a friend of BimmerFile will be missed for his professionalism, candor and down to earth nature. From us at BimmerFile we’d like to thank you for job well done and congratulate you on your retirement Dr. Nitschke.

Official Release: 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.

Francisus van Meel, who will already be joining the BMW Group on 1 October, was last active as Managing Directory of quattro GmbH, a subsidiary of Audi AG. 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.”