A change of leadership has been announced at BMW’s Hams Hall engine plant in north Warwickshire.

The Munich-based group, which makes all its 1.6 litre, four-cylinder, petrol engines at the factory near to Coleshill, said plant director Bob Bolam has retired and has been replaced by BMW veteran Mathias Hofmann.

Mr Bolam’s career with the company spanned 13 years and included positions of responsibility for engine and gearbox manufacturing at the former Rover Group, as managing director of the company’s pressings plant in Swindon, and more recently as managing director at Hams Hall for just over two years.

During his period of directorship, the Hams Hall plant has seen two record years of production and has continued to establish itself as an increasingly important element in the BMW Group’s global production network.

It is the company’s “centre of competence” for the production of four-cylinder petrol engines and supplies high-tech power units for BMW brand vehicles and Minis, which are assembled at the group’s vehicle plant at Oxford.

“I believe investment in state-of-the-art production facilities, a rigorous approach to continuous improvement and the flexibility and skills of the dedicated workforce give the Hams Hall plant a competitive advantage,” said Mr Bolam.

“Those important factors, along with the company’s commitment to developing and manufacturing the most fuel-efficient engines in their class, ensures the plant is well-placed to weather the storm of the current economic climate.”

Mr Hofmann, aged 49, started his career with BMW Group in 1990 at its Munich headquarters and also worked at the Regensburg plant in Germany. More recently he has held executive positions at the Tritec engine plant in Brazil and as logistics and IT director at the Mini plant.

In his new role he will be looking to identify ways in which the three UK plants – Hams Hall, Oxford and Swindon – can work together more closely to improve efficiencies and maintain a competitive advantage, BMW said.