Frank van Meel will return as chairman of BMW’s M division from 1 November, having previously taken charge of the performance outift between 2015 and 2018.

He replaces Markus Flasch, who took the role three years ago after it was vacated by van Meel. The move is effectively a job swap, with Flasch becoming head of Rolls-Royce’s product line, as well as overseeing luxury and upper class BMW products.

Flasch will also bear responsibility for BMW’s mid-range vehicles in the future.

In his previous tenure, van Meel ensured that the iX was brought to production readiness and led efforts to develop several other EVs, including the forthcoming i7.

He will lead the M division through its 50th anniversary in 2022, with “many new high-performance automobiles” set to be unveiled to mark the milestone.

BMW M’s first fully electric vehicle – the i4 M50 – is set to go on sale in the UK in November, priced from £63,905.

The first ever BMW M3 Touring, the second-generation M2 Coupé and the new M4 CSL are among the new products being lined up for next year.

Meanwhile, Flasch joins Rolls-Royce at a time when the is defying market trends. Despite the ongoing effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, the company is reportedly on track to break its record of 5125 units sold, set in 2019.