It is believed that former Director of Design at BMW, Chris Bangle resigned over differences in opinion regarding BMW's Project i initiative.
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.