BMW has announced former quattro GmbH boss Franciscus van Meel will succeed Dr. Friedrich Nitschke when he retires from his position as Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW M GmbH on January 1st, 2015.

BMW has announced former quattro GmbH boss Franciscus van Meel will succeed Dr. Friedrich Nitschke when he retires from his position as Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW M GmbH on January 1st, 2015.

BMW didn't have much to say about the move but the company highlighted van Meel's previous management experience and familiarity with performance models.

Interestingly, van Meel's tenure as quattro GmbH Managing Director was short lived as he reportedly had a falling out with Audi Technical Development boss Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg. Audi downplayed the reports but rumors suggested Hackenberg was upset the next-generation R8 was delayed and the company never launched a production version of the R8 e-tron as promised.

Regardless, BMW's Dr. Herbert Diess said "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."

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Former quattro GmbH boss defects to BMW M GmbH