BMW and its Mini brand are making several changes to their North American leadership teams, effective Jan. 1.
Jim McDowell, vice president of Mini of the Americas, is retiring after 12 years in sales and marketing positions at Mini and BMW. 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.
David Duncan, BMW of North America regional vice president, western region, assumes McDowell's role. BMW Sweden Managing Director Petter Wittmoves into Duncan's spot.
Mini's U.S. sales through October rose 2 percent in a market that has gained 10 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.
Mini's U.S. sales through November held steady with 2012 even though the brand saw a 13 percent decline last month.
The BMW division sold 31,752 units last month for a 2 percent gain from the year-earlier period. 2013 sales through November are tracking 11 percent higher than last year.