Hyundai poaches BMW M engineering chief to lead new performance division

The Hyundai Motor Group may be getting more serious about its performance credentials, but in order to realize its goal of making more serious performance machinery, it's going to need the expertise to get there. Fortunately that's just what it's acquired in hiring Albert Biermann.

The former chief engineer at BMW M GmbH, Biermann has been working for the Bavarian automaker for over three decades now, and since his appointment as Vice President of Engineering at the M division, was most recently responsible for developing the latest M3, M4 and M6 – not to mention bridging the gap between BMW's standard models and its M lineup with the M Performance range. But now the 57-year-old German has been named the Korean group's new head of Vehicle Test & High Performance Development.

In his new job, Biermann will be based out of Hyundai's R&D center in Namyang, South Korea, and will be tasked with "the development of new high performance Hyundai and Kia models" while also working to improve the two brands' ride, handling, safety, reliability and NVH reductions. The appointment makes Biermann the second high-ranking German executive the Korean automaker brought on board, after chief designer Peter Schreyer.

Although Hyundai recently shut down its US racing program with Rhys Millen Racing, it has embarked on an ambitious assault of the World Rally Championship, and recently opened a test center at the Nürburgring with an eye towards launching a new N performance line that sounds like it'll be right up Biermann's alley.

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