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Mini and BMW M get new leaders

Fri, 01 Apr 2011

The overseer of BMW’s vaunted M division is taking another spin in the driver’s seat at Mini.

Longtime company executive Kay Segler will take over stewardship of the iconic small-car brand on May 1. He previously led Mini from 2004 to 2008.

He’ll be replaced at the M unit by Friedrich Nitschke, who has been in controlling and development at BMW since 1978. Both men are 56.

Segler has been at the company since 1988. He takes over from Wolfgang Ambrecht, who replaced Segler in 2008.

Mini sold 234,000 cars worldwide last year, and 2011 is poised to best its best year ever. The company revealed the Rocketman concept in February in Milan, ahead of its debut in Geneva. That follows the recent Paceman and Beachcomber concepts, which have been well-received, and a much-anticipated return to the World Rally Championship.

Meanwhile, the in-house M tuners remain favorites of enthusiasts, and the brand recently unveiled and athletic 1-series M version.

By Greg Migliore