BMW group design chief Chris Bangle says the appointment of Adrian van Hooydonk as head of BMW brand design will bring a particular focus to the design of the marque's models, but hastens to add that no design is ever the work of just one person.

BMW group design chief Chris Bangle says the appointment of Adrian van Hooydonk as head of BMW brand design will bring a particular focus to the design of the marque's models, but hastens to add that no design is ever the work of just one person.


CARtoday.com reported recently that Bangle had become the Munich group's design chief after previously heading design for BMW brand and for BMW Group, which includes Mini and Rolls-Royce.


Bangle added that BMW's designs were the result of extensive research into form, a corporate philosophy and a committed team effort. Although not everyone liked BMW's designs, he was gratified that some critics seemed to be changing their minds.


"You can only say 'all right, I have positive attitude,' remember what you're doing and that you did it for a reason. You did it with a lot of people who support you and you support them. They're looking to you for an example, to show some kind of fibre."


Bangle relishes his new job as group design chief overseeing BMW, Rolls-Royce and Mini. "A very important part of what a group design chief should do is to work on the people balance. At BMW we try to get the most out of a single designer on a car instead of taking a car and splitting it up among 20 people."


The 7 Series and Y2K phobia


To date, Bangle has faced to most criticism for the radical 7 Series design, which appeared in 2001.


"As we got closer to the launch communication of the 7 Series, it was heading into that famous year 2000 wall , which was the peak of retro. You never heard the word emotion coming from designers like you do now. There was a fear of technology, a fear of change. A fear of moving forward is naturally a part of a century change. Don't forget, we were all afraid our toasters were going to be in league with our refrigerators," he said.


He denied that the forthcoming 7 Series facelift was being done in response to criticism: "The 7 Series is no different than any other product. When the right time comes in its product cycle, it will also get its treatment."


1 Series - 'the car's a rocket'


Meanwhile, BMW's soon-to-be-launched 1 Series intends to prove that small cars can be premium cars, Bangle said.


"This car does the job of premium, not the same way as the Mini, but more in the way of a classic BMW. The drive dynamic, the whole package, has the look and feel that tells you it's about serious professionalism at work."


"The 1 Series' is a rocket. That car is just tearing off. With front-engine, rear-drive proportions, that's what you do. When you look at the car from the side for any length of time, you realise you've never seen a car with those proportions," he concluded.

Original article from Car