BEIJING -- BMW named Olaf Kastner to oversee the automaker's business in China, where it has been losing some ground to rival Mercedes-Benz in recent months.
Kastner will take over the job on Dec. 1, replacing Karsten Engel, who is returning to Germany, BMW said in a statement on Monday.
Kastner was previously head of the BMW Brilliance Automotive joint venture, which makes vehicles for BMW and its Chinese partner Brilliance China Auto Holding.
Kastner will take over in his new role from Dec. 1 and Anton Heiss will assume his position as president and CEO of BMW Brilliance Automotive.
"I am delighted that, in Olaf Kastner, our largest market has a new manager who knows the Chinese automotive business extremely well, as well as the culture, the country and its people," Friedrich Eichiner, BMW's finance chief, said in the statement.
BMW did not specify Engel's new role. In his term heading China, Engel has overseen a reduction in prices on some models in China and a cut in production to prevent a buildup of unsold cars. BMW is also adjusting to a "new normal" of slower demand growth in China, Engel said at the Shanghai auto show in April.