Oliver Heilmer appointed new head of MINI Design

Automotive Design 5 Jun 2017
Oliver Heilmer appointed new head of MINI Design

As part of a realignment of its design team, the BMW Group has announced that Oliver Heilmer, currently president of Designworks, will take over as head of MINI Design effective 1 September 2017.


Oliver Heilmer new head of MINI DesignOliver Heilmer, 42-year-old, has been part of the BMW Group design team for 17 years and was responsible for interior design for the BMW brand up until 2016.

In the MINI design team Heilmer will lead from September, Christopher Weil remains in charge of Exterior Design, with Kerstin Schmeding responsible for Colour and Material Design. Interior Design will be headed by Christian Bauer from 1 June.

Effective 1 September 2017, Heilmer will be succeeded as president of Designworks by Holger Hampf.

Hampf was a member of the Designworks management team from 2002 and responsible for Product Design up until 2010, when he moved to an external design studio.

Since returning to the BMW Group in 2014, the 50-year-old’s responsibilities have included user interface design and realigning the design team for digitalization.

About the BMW Group design realignment

The personnel changes and strengthening of key competence areas are part of the BMW Group Design realignment under corporate strategy NUMBER ONE > NEXT.

Holger Hampf BMW Group new President Designworks

The focus will be on shorter development cycles, increasing digitalization of design processes, as well as products and mobility experiences.

Small, agile project teams will also form part of the new structure.

A major focal point will be the design of brand-specific, interactive digital in-car experiences. Gernot Schmierer, who will take over as head of User Experience Design for the BMW Group effective 1 September, will focus on this topic.

Schmierer will be responsible for vehicle-based design of interactive experiences – from vision to actual implementation.

As previously announced, Jozef Kabaň will take over as head of the BMW Automobiles design team in the second half of the year.

Domagoj Dukec has been responsible for design for the BMW i and BMW M sub-brands since 1 March 2017.

Giles Taylor remains in charge of design for Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, with Edgar Heinrich responsible for BMW Motorrad design.

Gernot Schmierer BMW Group new Head of User Experience Design Laurenz Schaffer assumed the position of head of Division Management, Design Identity and Context Research in November 2016, while Werner Haumayr heads Group Design Strategy, Concepts, Technologies, Models and Experience.

Official statements

“The ‘MINI VISION NEXT 100’ provided an impressive demonstration of MINI’s future viability,” explained Adrian van Hooydonk, head of BMW Group Design.

“I am confident that the MINI design team under Oliver Heilmer will implement this vision of the brand in future vehicle models and win over MINI customers. With his design expertise and experience, Oliver Heilmer combines continuity with the freshness and vision MINI stands for.”

Speaking about Holger Hampf appointment, he commented: “For me, Designworks is more than just a design studio; it is the strategic interface to our customers’ future living environment.

“I am delighted to welcome Holger Hampf as president. He is an experienced colleague who knows Designworks well and brings the expertise we need for an increasingly digital customer experience.”

(Source: BMW Group / MINI)

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