A familiar face returns to BMW M.
Big changes are reportedly happening behind the scenes at BMW M. Nothing is official yet, but BMW Blog has learned from insiders that Markus Flasch is leaving his role as BMW M CEO. A familiar face will replace him, however. According to the publication, Franciscus (Frank) van Meel will take over as BMW M's new CEO on November 1st.
Van Meel previously served as CEO of BMW M from January 2015 until late 2018 when he moved to a new role as head of BMW's Total Vehicle Development department. Last year, Van Meel became the Head of Product for BMW's Luxury division and Rolls-Royce, but soon he will be back as the boss of BMW M.
Markus Flasch will move to a "new major role" at BMW M, but no other details were provided. Van Meel was recently responsible for luxury electric BMW models including the iX SUV and the upcoming BMW 7 Series EV. Van Meel will bring his experience with electric vehicles to BMW M at a crucial time as the performance division embraces electrification.
Rumored to be called the XM, BMW M's first electrified SUV will reportedly break cover in a few weeks with a hybrid setup rumored to produce over 750 horsepower, the most ever offered by a production BMW - M-powered or not.
During his time as BMW M's CEO between 2015 and 2018, Van Meel was responsible for the current-generation BMW M5 and its variable all-wheel-drive system. Markus Flasch, on the other hand, was recently responsible for the first-ever BMW M3 Touring, the second-generation M2, the first M4 CSL (if that is indeed what it becomes called), and the next-generation M5. No doubt we'll find out what Van Meel is planning for the performance division when BMW M officially announces his new role.
With a new boss in charge, perhaps BMW M will have a change of heart and bring the M3 Wagon to America?