BMW named Karsten Engel the head of the company’s operations in China.
“His responsibilities will also include the coordination of the BMW Brilliance Automotive joint venture, ” BMW said in a statement, adding that Engel will start the new role in March.
Karsten Engel, who is currently the senior vice president of BMW Group Germany, will replace Christoph Stark, who will retire as China head in February 2013. Engel will have to continue Stark’s accomplishments in helping the automaker close in on the lead held by VW’s Audi in the country. BMW is about to sell over 300,000 vehicles in the world’s largest auto market by the end of this year, more than 232,000 units in 2011 and more than 16,000 units sold in 2004, when Stark took over.
“The prospects for the premium segment in China still look promising, although growth is expected to be a little slower,” Norbert Reithofer, chairman of BMW’s board of management, said in a statement. “Our commitment to China remains strong and is assured.”
BMW is among several other automakers, such as GM, Mercedes-Benz and VW, which decided to make leadership changes in China this year.