We didn’t see this one coming, and given the number of pranks revealed on this special day, we had to check it twice just to be sure. BMW announced this morning that Dr Kay Segler was being replaced as boss of BMW M by Dr. Friedrich Nitschke, who takes over the position from 1 May this year.

Nitschke was previously responsible for the MINI Series within the Development division, and has held various management positions in the Controlling and Development divisions since joining the company in 1978.

Segler who has been with the company since 1988, will move to become responsible for MINI brand management.

We met Dr Segler two years ago, shortly after he took up his new position as Managing Director of BMW M Division, and were impressed by his plans for the marque. Segler had previously managed the MINI brand between 2004 and 2008, but set about his new role with gusto, describing the M-brand as “Childhood automotive dreams realised”. You can read his comments in our interview, ‘In the driving seat at BMW’s M Division’.

More than any other M Division boss, Segler was visible at the front-line of the brand’s activities, involved in launching the X5 M & X6 M, 1 Series M Coupe and M3 GTS. He was fond of starring in the brand’s promotional videos and just recently introduced the first teaser video of the new F10-based M5.

2 years has not been enough to see Segler’s plans through to fruition, but we wish him well in his new role and wait to find out what Dr. Nitschke will bring to M Division and its future models.

Dr Friedrich Nitschke
Dr. Friedrich Nitschke, takes over from Dr. Kay Segler as President of BMW M GmbH from 1st May 2011.