McDowell to retire as BMW shifts N.A. leaders

McDowell: Led Mini marketing
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Jim McDowell, vice president of Mini of the Americas, is retiring after 12 years in sales and marketing positions at Mini and BMW. He will be replaced by David Duncan, BMW of North America's vice president of the western region.

The change is one of several that BMW and its Mini brand are making to their North American leadership teams, effective Jan. 1.

McDowell, 61, was responsible for all aspects of Mini marketing, sales and aftersales in the United States since 2005, according to the company. Automotive News named him Marketer of the Year in 2002.

Duncan: BMW regional exec

BMW Sweden Managing Director Petter Witt moves into Duncan's spot.

Mini's U.S. sales through November are flat, at 59,910 units, in a market that has gained 8 percent.

Meanwhile, the German automaker said Peter Miles, executive vice president of operations for BMW of North America, will become vice president of sales channel development and customer relations. This new role covers customer satisfaction, dealer development, customer care and training.

Miles, who became vice president in 2008, helped lead the company as it navigated through the U.S. financial crisis. Since 2009, new- and used-vehicle sales have jumped 60 percent, while corporate fleet sales were added to BMW's U.S. portfolio, the company said. J. Chris Koenders, president of BMW Group Netherlands, will succeed Miles.

BMW of America CEO Ludwig Willisch said the company is "intensifying" its "customer-driven focus" with the changes.

The BMW division's U.S. sales through November are up 11 percent from the same period last year to 271,891 units.

You can reach Vince Bond Jr. at vbond@crain.com. -- Follow Vince on Twitter


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