(Courtesy of Edmunds AutoObserver) A report today in trade journalAutomotive Newsindicates BMW North America Inc. CEO Jim O’Donnell will retire Oct. 1. Taking his place will be company veteran Ludwig Willisch, currently BMW’s head of European sales outside the German home market. Willisch, who has been at BMW since 1996, also was president of BMW M GmbH, the company’s in-house performance-tuning division. O’Donnell was BMW’s North American boss since 2008.

Meanwhile, the European financial sector is alight with rumors BMW’s controlling shareholders, various members of the Quandt family, may be seeking to increase their stake in the company to more than 50%. Currently the Quandt holdings in BMW are reported to be an aggregate 47.7 %.