As part of the company's strategic realignment announced on Thursday (27 September), the BMW Group will create two new divisions from 1 October.

Corporate and brand development will be headed by former corporate planning director Friedrich Eichiner in a move, the automaker said, that underlines the importance of corporate planning, brand management and strategic implementation.

The division will also be home to BMW Motorrad, financial services and Softlab. If new business units are created, they will be assigned to this division.

The second new division will be called 'purchasing and supplier network'. Herbert Diess, previously Motorrad head, will lead this division, responsible for lowering material costs, the group's major expense factor.

"This corresponds to the [group's] strategic approach of optimising the interface between the [group] and its supplier network and redefining the share of in-house activities in relation to our strategically relevant technologies," BMW said in a statement.

The German premium-brand automaker noted that its basic organisation structure had remained mostly unchanged since 2000 but, due to the new strategy announced today, complexity of tasks is expected to increase considerably. This means that all divisions will have to shoulder significantly more challenging workloads.

"Strategy implementation requires a high-performance organisation capable of handling the complexity of our activities and generating growth," said BMW chairman Norbert Reithofer at a press conference in Munich.

In conjunction with implementing the new strategy, the group decided to make a "castling move" (a comparison to a chess move), with Michael Ganal and Stefan Krause swapping responsibilities from 1 October - Ganal takes over finance while Krause will head marketing and sales.

"We want our executives to be global thinkers, highly skilled and able to apply their expertise in various areas throughout the group," Reithofer said. "Both colleagues have done an excellent job for years. They are now going to give fresh input to their new divisions by sharing their vast experience in leading their respective teams."