BMW M CEO Markus Flasch claims the Munich-based firm’s performance division has a stronger heritage than rivals such as Mercedes-AMG and Audi Sport.

Speaking to journalists at the Frankfurt motor show, Flasch said the M division set itself apart from its German competitors “in terms of heritage”, making specific reference to the brand’s storied history in motorsport.

“Everyone in the world recognises the three colours,” he said, referring to the familiar colour combination of light blue, dark blue and red.

“Everywhere I go on racetracks, I see people with caps with ‘BMW M’ so the heritage and the strength of the brand for me is outstanding and above our competition, in my opinion.

“We have very, very loyal customers. I would even say our customers [form] a fan base; it’s like a community. We see that on social media; we see this with M-Town. The M community is like a tribe of people.

“People recognise my company car on the autobahn. I’m being followed and being taken photos of just because people want to be part of the whole thing … call it a movement. It’s something that I think sets us apart,” Flasch explained.

The Austrian-born Flasch stepped into the role of BMW M CEO at the start of October 2018.