Albert Biermann is the latest BMW casualty and he is a big one considering he was the vice president of the M division. He is the guy who said he wanted the M division to produce an M7 to rival the Mercedes S63/S65 AMG. He is also the guy who publicly admitted the new turbo BMW motors simply do not match the response of the previous naturally aspirated motors.
He also kept the idea of an E89 Z4M alive stating it hurt not having one in the lineup. Perhaps the biggest and most important development was that he was the one pushing hard for an M version of the i8 despite the other execs saying that 'M' and 'i' must be kept separate.
BMW is clearly having an internal power struggle and identity crisis. You have the head of BMW Norbert Reithofer saying there should be no i8M or M8 and the head of BMW M saying they should have one. All we know is the bean counters keep winning and the enthusiasts keep leaving BMW.
So after three decades at BMW Biermann is gone for Hyundai of all places. If Hyundai is more inclined to produce performance cars than BMW something is very, very wrong.
Hyundai Motor Group appoints Albert Biermann as
Head of Vehicle Test & High Performance Development
• Takes on responsibility for new high performance vehicles and technologies
• Appointment is part of a drive to develop Hyundai and Kia vehicles that lead their segments for rewarding driving dynamics
December 22, 2014 - Hyundai Motor Group has appointed Albert Biermann as its new Head of Vehicle Test & High Performance Development.
Based at the company’s R&D Center in Namyang, Korea, Mr. Biermann will lead the development of new high performance Hyundai and Kia models, as well as oversee engineering projects relating to ride and handling, safety, reliability, and the mitigation of NVH (noise, vibration and harshness).
His appointment will accelerate the roll-out of new high-performance vehicles and technologies, as well as help to improve the dynamic capabilities of cars across the range. The company intends to become a technical leader in ride and handling, producing vehicles that lead their respective segments for driver engagement. Hyundai Motor’s involvement in the World Rally Championship (WRC) should also benefit, thanks to increased sharing of performance technologies and insights between engineering programmes for the road and rally stage.
Mr. Biermann, 57 years old, joins Hyundai Motor Group from 1 April 2015 and brings over 30 years of experience in the development of high-performance vehicles, most recently in his current role as Vice President Engineering BMW M Automobiles and BMW Individual at BMW M GmbH, Germany, a position he has held since 2008. He first joined BMW in 1983 and has played a key part in honing the performance and dynamics of some of the marque’s most acclaimed road and race cars.
Biermann said, “I couldn’t be more excited to join Hyundai Motor Group. It is a company I have watched closely as it has taken on its key competitors and quickly established a strong customer base in Europe. 2015 is a key year for the brand with the launch of many all-new models and the start of its second season in WRC, so I am really looking forward to the challenge.”
Woong Chul Yang, Vice Chairman of Hyundai Motor Company and Head of Hyundai-Kia R&D Center, added, “This is a senior engineering appointment and an important part of our effort to further optimize the dynamics of our vehicles, providing even greater rewards for keen drivers. Mr. Biermann has unrivalled credentials in this field and his expertise and experience will help us bring forward the development of new Hyundai and Kia cars that are great to drive, as well as speed the transfer of innovative technologies and insights between our road-car and motorsport engineering teams.”
Earlier in 2014 Hyundai Motor opened its brand new European Test Centre at the Nürburgring in Germany, allowing the company to test more effectively and accurately the reliability and drivability of new vehicles.