BMW M GmbH leadership change – Frank van Meel returns as chairman
Current boss Markus Flasch to move up as BMW’s head of overall vehicle development
BMW has announced a change of leadership within its M GmbH division, with former chairman Frank van Meel returning to the top job after three years as head of BMW’s large car program. van Meel will start his new role on 1 November.
The change of role comes as M GmbH’s outgoing head, Markus Flasch, takes up a new role as head of overall vehicle development for luxury, upper and mid-range BMW models. During his three years at M, Flasch’s leadership has coincided with a flurry of superb M models, including the eCoty-winning M2 CS, the first ever M5 CS and the current M3/M4 models including the soon to be revealed M3 Touring. BMW's betting on this momentum in form will continue in his new role, encompassing the development and production of BMW’s wider CLAR model ranges and Rolls-Royce.
Frank van Meel returns with his own successes as M’s boss, being responsible for initial development of the current M3 and M4, which have been widely praised for their handling and depth of engineering. His return is just in time for a very busy 2022, too, with the launch of an even wider variety of new models due next year including an all-new M2, M4 CSL, and its first bespoke SUV and plug-in hybrid models.
Next year will also see M GmbH celebrate its 50th anniversary, and soon after will debut the first collaboration between the BMW M and i brands with its first all-electric M car. M’s motorsport activities will also see a revival by returning to endurance car racing in 2023 with an all-new LMDh-class racer that’ll compete in the American ISMA series.
All of this expansion is in preparation for the wider car industry’s move to a low-carbon future. Until then, the BMW M range will be a key revenue generator for the brand, giving BMW high-margin models that it needs to sell in order to fund its electrification journey. The good news for car enthusiasts like us is that until then, we’ll be able to experience even more variety within the M range, which won’t be held back under its new leadership.