Chris Bangle leaves BMW

Automotive Design 3 Feb 2009
Chris Bangle leaves BMW

BMW has announced that after 17 years Design Director Chris Bangle has left his position to pursue his personal design-related endeavours beyond the auto industry.

Bangle’s plan to pursue his own design-related endeavours beyond the auto industry marks the start of a new phase in his life while maintaining strong ties with the BMW Group.

Chirs Bangle And Adrian Von HooydonkChristopher E. Bangle‘s position will be taken by Adrian van Hooydonk, who has worked closely with Bangle for nearly 17 years.

From the official Press release:

Over the years numerous designs for new vehicles and vehicle concepts have been developed under Christopher Bangle’s leadership.

As well as continuing the BMW 3, 5 and 7 Series, he and his teams were responsible for a range of other models, including the BMW Z3, BMW Z4, BMW X5, BMW Z8, BMW X3, the new BMW 6 Series, the BMW X6 and the BMW 1 Series.

“Christopher Bangle has had a lasting impact on the identity of BMW Group’s brands. His contribution to the company’s success has been decisive, and together with his teams he has mapped out a clear and aesthetic route into the future,” said Dr Klaus Draeger, BMW AG’s Board Member for Development.

Dr Draeger went on to explain that the BMW Group was currently “in an excellent position”, thanks to a broad portfolio of automobiles and several new vehicle concepts due for market launch in the coming months and years.

Chris BangleOther developments under the auspices of Christopher Bangle include the new MINI and Rolls-Royce models and a number of innovative motorcycle concepts.

During his tenure, Christopher Bangle was also instrumental in making the company’s consultancy subsidiary, BMW Group DesignworksUSA, what it is today: a global design agency in North America, Munich and Singapore for leading international brands and companies in a wide variety of industries.

Thanks to their outstanding design quality numerous products from all three of the BMW Group’s automobile brands have won a host of renowned awards from around the world.

"Bangle has always had a special aptitude for working with his teams to strengthen the identities and unmistakable images of the BMW Group’s brands and to inspire design innovations", said Dr Draeger, Board Member for Development.

Over the years he has received a dozen patents for his technical applications and design. These, along with the one hundred additional patents awarded to the BMW Group Design under Bangle’s auspices, are a testimony to his creative and innovative power.

About Chris Bangle

Born in the USA, Christopher Bangle, aged 52, has been Head of BMW Group Design Development since October 1992. After studying at the University of Wisconsin and the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, he began his working life in Rüsselsheim, where he worked for Adam Opel AG. In 1985 he joined FIAT, where he became Director of the FIAT Centro Stile in 1992. Shortly afterwards he left the Italian automaker to come to Munich.

Chris Bangle’s Timeline

  • October 14, 1956 – born in Ravenna, Ohio (USA)
  • 1972 – 1975 – Wausau West High School, Wisconsin
  • 1975– 1977 – University of Wisconsin, Liberal Arts Studies
  • 1977 – 1981 -Art Center College of Design, Pasadena (Bachelor of Science with Honors) Masters Degree in Industrial Design
  • 1978 – 1981 -Assistant Designer bei Hartkopf Associates
  • 1981 – 1985 – Adam Opel AG, Interieur Designer, since 1983 Deputy Head of the Interieur Design Studio
  • 1985 – 1992 – Fiat Centro Stile
  • January 1992 bis September 1992 – Director Fiat Centro Stile / Design
  • October 1, 1992
    to February 2009
    – Director of Design BMW Group

(Source: BMW)


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