BMW has appointed a new plant director at its operation near Birmingham.
Bernd Gress takes over the top job at its Hams Hall factory in Coleshill which produces components and engines.
He begins the role at a difficult time for the business as it is embroiled in an ongoing dispute with trade unions over company pensions and is facing a series of 24-hour walkouts by staff.
Mr Gress, who was educated at the Technical University in Munich, joins the plant following an assignment at BMW's new engine manufacturing facility in China.
He has 22 years of experience in the automotive industry and has worked for BMW Group since 1996, the majority of which has been spent in the powertrain division including a three-year spell as head of quality at Hams Hall between 2005 and 2008.
Mr Gress succeeds Markus Fallböhmer, who moves to another role within the group in Germany after two and half years at Hams Hall.
He said: "I am very much looking forward to returning to the UK and to the Hams Hall engine plant.
"It's an exciting time as the assembly of the latest generation of engines is in full swing and, since I was last working at the plant, the capability to produce key-machined engine components has trebled."
The plant, which directly supports the jobs of around 1,000 people, produces three- and four-cylinder petrol engines for Mini cars and two of the latest plug-in hybrid vehicles.