BMW’s design chief Chris Bangle is leaving the company and the car industry after 17 years at the firm, BMW has announced.
Bangle, who is known for his striking and controversial designs such as the BMW X6 and the previous-generation BMW 7-series, will be succeeded as the man in charge of BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce design by Adrian van Hooydonk, currently BMW's head of design.
A BMW statement said Bangle, who was also responsible for Mini and Rolls-Royce designs, was leaving to “pursue his own design-related endeavours beyond the auto industry.”
"Christopher Bangle has had a lasting impact on the identity of BMW Group's brands,” said Klaus Draeger, BMW's development chief. “His contribution to the company's success has been decisive."
Although controversial, 52-year-old Bangle’s designs have been a commercial success and the flame-surfacing effect pioneered by his work on the Fiat Coupe and popularised by the BMW 5-series and Z4 have been widely imitated.
Van Hooydonk has been closely involved with the design of BMW's forthcoming Progressive Activity Sedan, a five-door hatch with styling halfway between a 5-series Touring and an X6. A PAS concept will be shown at next month's Geneva motor show.