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View Full Version : Chris Bangle Leaves BMW/Auto Industry


Bogart
02-03-2009, 09:32 AM
http://www.dld-conference.com/Chris_Bangle-thumb.jpg
BMW design boss Bangle quits auto industry
Paul McVeigh
Automotive News Europe
February 3, 2009 13:52 CET
UPDATED: 09/02/03 14:55 CET

ENLARGEBMW's Chris Bangle (right) is leaving the auto industry. He will be succeeded by Adrian van Hooydonk (left).



MUNICH -- BMW Group's design head Chris Bangle is quitting "to pursue his own design-related endeavors beyond the auto industry," the German carmaker said Tuesday.

Adrian van Hooydonk, head of design for BMW brand, will succeed Bangle with immediate effect, BMW said.

"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," said Klaus Draeger, BMW's development chief, in a statement.

America-born Bangle, 52, joined BMW in 1992 and modernized the conservative styling of the premium brand's cars. Bangle's distinctive themes of flame surfacing and pronounced trunk lids aroused strong opposition from many in the industry but the styling was a commercial success, helping BMW to overtake rival Mercedes-Benz as the global No. 1 premium brand by unit sales in 2006.

Draeger said Bangle had mapped out a clear design route for BMW. He said van Hooydonk will continue and build on Bangle's philosophy.

After studying at the University of Wisconsin and the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Bangle started his career at GM's German subsidiary Opel. He joined Fiat in 1985 and rose to become head of Fiat's styling center before quitting to join BMW.

Bangle and his team designed the current BMW 3-, 5- and 7-Series and other models including the Z3, X5 and X3 He also oversaw the design of BMW Group's Mini and Rolls-Royce cars.

Dutch-born Van Hooydonk, 44, joined BMW in 1992. He was director of BMW subsidiary Designworks USA in California from 2001 to 2004.

Van Hooydonk heavily influenced the designs of BMW’s upcoming Progressive Activity Sedan, which will debut at the Geneva auto show in March, as well as the 6- and 7-Series and Z9 and CS concept cars.

E36is
02-03-2009, 09:38 AM
meh.. from bad to worse. bring in the person(s) who designed the e39.

Manimillion
02-03-2009, 11:40 AM
I don't know about you guys, but I think Bangle's designes are great, maybe a little ahead of its time for people to like it, but I still think he designed really pretty cars.

tominizer
02-03-2009, 12:11 PM
I like that............... "the design head is being replaced by the head of design". WTF !?!?!

BMW_7
02-03-2009, 12:51 PM
BAh.. Hooydonk is even worse than Bangle

Meth09
02-03-2009, 04:09 PM
Hopefully Van Hooydonk will not follow in his predecessors (Bangle's) stylings too closely. I personally disliked Bangle's designs and felt that his styling particularly of the rear trunk areas were a serious failure and eyesore.
Oh noooooo, having said that I just noted that Van Hooydonk did the new 6 series...what a disaster that one is!!!!

A BMW designed by famed Italian stylers Pininfarina would be interesting to see.

*smoke*

summit425
02-03-2009, 04:18 PM
I don't know why people hate about e60's design when it first came out.

For me e60 5 series looks great.

craigIS
02-03-2009, 05:41 PM
i personally like bangles designs.....i dont know how Hooydonk will do as design head, we'll have to see

M3ti Compact
02-03-2009, 06:31 PM
Bangle did a good job. His designs are not accepted at first because they were radically different, but over time, the more you look at the car, the better looking it becomes. As opposed to a car that looks good at first glance when new, then looks dated within a few years.

AceOfSpades
02-03-2009, 11:42 PM
Bangle did a good job. His designs are not accepted at first because they were radically different, but over time, the more you look at the car, the better looking it becomes. As opposed to a car that looks good at first glance when new, then looks dated within a few years.

Old bmws have their own individual character. Doing softy lines and cars that blend with lexuses is not exactly the way to go.
As said before, E38s and E39 were DOPE cars!

BMW_7
02-04-2009, 12:17 AM
Hopefully Van Hooydonk will not follow in his predecessors (Bangle's) stylings too closely. I personally disliked Bangle's designs and felt that his styling particularly of the rear trunk areas were a serious failure and eyesore.
Oh noooooo, having said that I just noted that Van Hooydonk did the new 6 series...what a disaster that one is!!!!

A BMW designed by famed Italian stylers Pininfarina would be interesting to see.

*smoke*

I think you're missing a few things.

Bangle was in charge of the e46.

Hooydonk did the 7 series and the 6 series, with the "bangle butt" thing wrongly being credited as Bangle's work.

Qube
02-04-2009, 12:27 AM
April Fools? No... yay!

Robb
02-04-2009, 12:36 AM
I applaud him for leaving...
Being in the auto industry sux nowadays..
The design, and rules and safety features brought down the industry...The cars are all junk.Ask Jay Leno.
I have never owned a car newer than 1991.. Theres a reason for this...

OLD SKOOL FTW !*rockout*

6appeal
02-04-2009, 02:11 AM
For the most part, I don't like a lot of the designs either conjured up or approved by Bangle. By the sounds of it, van Hooydonk doesn't sound too promising either. The latest 7 series is a hideous car, IMO. It has odd proportions, ugly tail lights, it lacks some sort of appeal that the E38 had. 6 series too. The rear end looks pretty mean but reminds me of a Pontiac, and when I heard Bangle came from GM....The E90 I like but I think it looks good only because BMW knew they couldn't **** that up being their volume seller. E91's and E92's are just as good. Long story short, I hope there will be some sort of departure from this style of design. BMW is getting killed right now by Audi, image-wise. BMW is not as iconic and sporty as it once was. Maybe this change in the company can bring about something different.

Fel
02-04-2009, 09:41 AM
I don't know if this is good news or not.... Some of Bangle's designs really bugged me, some of them have grown on my over time. It hasn't been all bad, just a few missteps here and there. This new guy seems like he might be more of the bad. But I guess only time will tell....

Meth09
02-04-2009, 09:54 AM
When buying a NEW car one should like its looks at time of purchase and not HOPE to adapt to it styling or looks at a later date. *no-no*

Although BMW sold alot of cars under the term of Bangle's 'artistic' direction, personally I don't believe them to be of the same calibre as the many 'special' cars that it had produced in past years. They just seem to blend into the landscape of high-end Japanese cars.

SickFinga
02-04-2009, 10:25 AM
I think you're missing a few things.

Bangle was in charge of the e46.

Hooydonk did the 7 series and the 6 series, with the "bangle butt" thing wrongly being credited as Bangle's work.

I think he is being credited with bangle butt because he designed Z9 concept, but then again I couldn't find any proof that he did and it looks really close to E63. I think I'm going to email BMW to find out..


Now on those so called "Bangle" cars. Everybody loves to hate them, but look at the current S class, look at the trunk, look at the interior, look at the iDrive-like system. To me it sounds like Bangle knew what he was doing.

Gamite
02-04-2009, 11:01 AM
I have never owned a car newer than 1991.. Theres a reason for this...


Because you can't afford it? :D

black bnr32
02-04-2009, 11:32 AM
I do find it strange that some of Bangle's design features were so highly criticized, yet seemed to be copied by so many other manufacturers. What's up with that?

tominizer
02-04-2009, 03:38 PM
F-k Gamite......... you beat me too it........... I was going to post that. Just ruined my whole day !!! LMAO

coolhand
02-04-2009, 07:28 PM
E39

Nick_ll
02-07-2009, 08:23 PM
Specifically need to bring in the guy who designed the e46 M3.

Trouble65
02-08-2009, 08:33 AM
Over all he did a good job. However the new BMW's coming out are starting to be fugly.

hadesm5
02-08-2009, 09:20 PM
get over the e39 already... its ugly

black bnr32
02-09-2009, 01:50 PM
Specifically need to bring in the guy who designed the e46 M3.

I *believe* that Bangle was in charge of the e46 design.

Bavaria
02-09-2009, 11:45 PM
get over the e39 already... its ugly

i think a lot of people would disagree with you on that part

hadesm5
02-11-2009, 01:27 AM
all bmws are ugly

Bavaria
02-11-2009, 02:06 AM
all bmws are ugly

then why did you buy an E30? and why are you still on here?

TNation
02-11-2009, 06:24 PM
Bangle was good actually on his own. He designed the E46, and that was a really nice looking car, very clean imo.
Then he teamed up with that moron van Hooyndoink, and he came up with the 5, the 7, the 6, etc... basically killing the entire line. van Hooyndoink is not good at all.

hadesm5
02-11-2009, 09:57 PM
then why did you buy an E30? and why are you still on here?

i'm attracted to ugly cars

BMW_7
02-13-2009, 01:04 AM
I think he is being credited with bangle butt because he designed Z9 concept, but then again I couldn't find any proof that he did and it looks really close to E63. I think I'm going to email BMW to find out..


Now on those so called "Bangle" cars. Everybody loves to hate them, but look at the current S class, look at the trunk, look at the interior, look at the iDrive-like system. To me it sounds like Bangle knew what he was doing.

rofl

Yeah Bangle knew what he was doing, that's what I think too. It's just hart do say "Hooydonk Butt", so "Bangle Butt" is more fitting.

bayerish 325
02-17-2009, 10:19 PM
So... Bangle is leaving... GOOD!!!!!!! I might start considering buying another bimmer. I was waiting for him to leave as I never really liked the "awkward" design and more specifically "intentional lack of good taste" in use during his era. There is something very deliberate and aggressive about the approach (which might really look original at first)... but after a while it only looks like a big ploy to get visibility and reactions from the public (good or bad publicity is good). I am sorry, I must say that I was disapointed too many times by his work and I can't get passed the atrocious 6 series (not designed by him apparently)... Of course, parts of a car here and there can look very good, but why not trying to make all of those part fit together? There is just no sense of a "holistic approach"... In a way, he did great for the marketing of the brand and I am willing to recognize that. I also like some of it and never thought of leaving the brand, but, in my opinion, none of the designs that came after the e46 under his era have all the elements needed to become a universal "classic". I am sure that he is not the only one responsible for what happened (and I love my e46 which was designed by him???) Well... if the guy who designed the actual 6 series replaces him, I am not so sure this is a good thing in the end...

BMW_7
02-25-2009, 09:14 PM
This is probably why he left

http://www.worldcarfans.com/9090205.022/claim-bangle-left-bmw-over-project-i


An explanation for the resignation of Chris Bangle from BMW has appeared on the Internet. Information gathered from the BMWblog.com points to a difference of opinion regarding the design direction of Project i. Project i which has been given the go-ahead by the BMW board of directors, is about "new car and mobility concepts" meant to explore transportation solutions for the biggest cities. This important project is still in its infancy in motor industry terms but the infancy stage is when things design-related get created, discussed and approved. It seems Bangle had a clash of ideas with BMW CEO Dr Norbert Reithofer, Chief of Research & Development Dr Klaus Draeger and his own protégé Adrian van Hooydonk in as far as Project i was concerned.

The clash was about whether Project i would fall under one of the three existing BMW brands (excluding Motorrad and M) or be serviced under a brand new label. Each of these brands - BMW, MINI and Rolls Royce has its own design language. Bangle then decided to fall on his sword rather than take responsibility for a design strategy he did not approve.

The BMW board tried to convince him to stay, even offered him other positions at BMW. One of these positions was that of Design Director at Designworks USA where van Hooydonk once plied his trade. All this was in vain. He had made up his mind to leave. However he will still work with BMW in his new personal design initiative.

A new era of design has now been ushered at BMW in which final direction will come from Adrian van Hooydonk. Because lead times are counted in years, van Hooydonk's style will only be seen in the next 6 or 7 years time. But his concepts like the CS Concept can already be appreciated.




This is for people who think "Bangle" ruined BMW

And just to throw this out there..."Chris Bangle Didn't Do It! No, Seriously!"

He wasn't directly responsible for most of the designs he gets made fun of for. Here's a list of who designed the exteriors of a lot of recent BMWs...

* Joji Nagashima: E90/E91 3 series, E36 3 series, E36/7 Z3, E39 5 series
* Adrian van Hooydonk: E63/E64 6 series, E65/E66 7 series, Z9 GT Concept, Z9 Convertible Concept, MINI ACV30 Concept ... (now Head of Design BMW Automobile)
* Geoff Velasco: E83 X3
* Anders Warming: E85 Z4 roadster, GINA Light Concept, Mille Miglia 2006 Coupe Concept ... (now Head of Exterior design BMW Automobile)
* Chris Chapman: E87/E81 1 series hatchback, E53 X5, X-coupe Concept, CS1 Concept ... (now Head of Automotive Design @ BMW Group DesignworksUSA)
* Erik Goplen: E46 3 series
* Davide Arcangeli: E60/E61 5 series
* Tomasz Sycha: E86 Z4 Coupe
* Marc Michael Markefka: E92/E93 3-series coupe & cabrio, E82/E88 1-series coupe & cabrio
* Pierre Leclercq: E70 X5, X71/E72 X6
* Karim Antoine Habib: CS Concept, F01/F02 7-series, *** "new 8-series" (project "GranTurismo")
* Juliane Blasi: E89 Z4 roadster ... yes, it's a woman
* Jacek Froehlich: F10 / F11 5-series

* Mark Djordjevic: RR Phantom family (Phantom, Drophead Copue, Coupe)
* Frank Stephenson: R50-R53 MINI Mk1
* Marcus Syring: R55-R58 (R60?) MINI Mk2

Note that Bangle is nowhere to be found here (though of course he had a role in them)...and it was van Hooydonk who brought us the 'infamous' E65/66 7 Series and E63 6 Series.

Hopefully BMW will go in a better direction now.

bayerish 325
02-26-2009, 10:01 AM
Thank you for providing such detailed information. It is really appreciated. I understand that Bangle wasn't directly responsible for many of those recent designs. It would be interesting to know how much freedom these designers had under his guidance...

BMW_7
02-26-2009, 09:42 PM
Youre welcome.

I think this needs to be said. Bangle has gained my utmost respect.

people who dont bend over and be puppets for money i have respect for, especially in these economic times