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BMW Bids Bangle Begone

MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,664
Well it's official. Chris Bangle, head of design at BMW since 1992, and the man who singlehandedly stirred up a hornet's nest of criticism with his 2001 designs, is leaving the German automaker. The article says this is strictly voluntary. What do you think?
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Comments

  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,917
    I wonder where he'll end up. He's given a whole generation of young car designers something to mildly copy.
  • I think he'd be great for any of the following "design-challenged" companies

    1. Subaru
    2. Hyundai
    3. Cadillac
    4. Lexus
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,195
    Send him over to GM. Don't let him take the iDrive with him.
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,985
    "Cynics might also point out that there is also a rough correlation of profit weakness with the tenure of controversial stylist Chris Bangle, famed for the Bangle butt on the 2001 7 Series, and "flame-surfacing." Bangle left the company early this year."

    When the dust clears, BMW may struggle to compete (Detroit News)

    More troubling for BMW though, is this quote:

    People are losing interest in fast cars and driving.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,917
    Strong Euro won't help anything, especially facing a weak dollar. The globalized economy (which means less for the western masses and more for a chosen few) also does not help sales volumes of products above a lowest common denominator level. Real incomes aren't growing.

    Combine it with the enviro-nazi propaganda and the "speed kills" scaredy cats who have gained in number even in Europe...and it doesn't bode well for people who like to drive.
  • I agree 100% with both statements.

    I don't even like to drive anymore, and this is a man who owned literally a hundred cars in his life, went racing and loved driving. I hate it now. Cops are everywhere raking in revenue for city shortfalls.

    I'm not sure why anyone would buy a high-performance car anymore, unless you lived in the desert or some such or can justify spending $50,000 to goose it for 3 seconds on an on-ramp twice a day.

    Perhaps we are on the cutting edge of yet another breaking trend, that firms like BMW should seriously contemplate---why build cars in the US that are in direct collision with speed laws?

    I'd be more interested in a car with stealth technology---might even look kinda cool :D
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,071
    People are losing interest in fast cars and driving.

    I find that troubling in general! I don't want an encore performance of the late 1970s/early 1980s!
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,071
    Scary thought, eh? :cry:
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,396
    I find that troubling in general! I don't want an encore performance of the late 1970s/early 1980s!

    I don't either but I'm afraid that we are headed that way. There's a bunch of reasons for it but in fact our automotive priorities are becoming extremely distorted. Cars have become too heavy and too gadget-laden to the point where 300HP is the minimal requirement for having any fun (BMW is as guilty as anyone).

    I'm looking for a a car that is both fuel-efficient and fun, something that will get me thru the oncoming era the way my Fiat Spider got me thru the years '71-'79. It wasn't the fastest car around but it was a ball to drive and had style and spirit.

    Bring on the diesels BMW! ...and lighten up!
  • pp2009pppp2009pp Posts: 228
    "Perhaps we are on the cutting edge of yet another breaking trend, that firms like BMW should seriously contemplate---why build cars in the US that are in direct collision with speed laws? "

    How about in direct collision with gas usage? My BMW 2009 X3 gets 14-15 mpg and it is small for an SUV. I heard that the 5-series Gran Turismo is as large as a 7 series. Isn't that going in the wrong direction?

    I like this one as it appears to be very light:

    http://www.wired.com/autopia/2008/06/bmw-builds-a-ca/

    BMW has a video where Bangle talks about how hard it was to design the X3. It has a very nice interior layout that uses the space very efficiently. On the outside, particularly the tail lights however, he could have thought things through somewhat better.
  • Like I always say: "performance comes at a price". However, there is no excuse for making a car or a component unattractive.

    My opinion is that anyone can be "outrageous", and shock people. This is easy, really, and, sadly, often rewarded in our culture---until 3 months later when we're all sick of it and we sober up---then we get shocked again.

    BMW has prospered by making generally attractive cars, for the most part, modestly designed, for decades and decades. Then some fashion plate comes in and screws it all up, as if there were no BMW "genetics" going on for the last 75+ years.

    Thank God he didn't mess up the grille.

    God help BMW if it abandons its styling heritage.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,917
    The E60 5er is arguably the most heinous BMW styling effort in modern history. The company will be better off the more it is in the past. I have never been able to figure out what I loathe most about it - the headlight and taillight designs, or the interior.
  • The styling has cohesion but all that means to me is that certain unpleasant design elements are carried throughout the car. It strikes me as very trendy in a superficial kind of way.

    I realize that these days it is very very difficult to make a car distinctive in a positive way, but I find many of these design elements exude a kind of cheapness.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,917
    Trendy in a superficial way usually makes for dated and undesirable later.

    When automakers abruptly change from a design theme, that's usually not a good sign for the existing theme.
  • jtlajtla Posts: 375
    Thank God he didn't mess up the grille.

    2009 Acura TL comes to mind...
  • Ewww....I knew you were going to say that....you might be right, too.

    Ah, the irony of it all----for decades the Japanese shamelessly copied BMW, and now...... :cry: .
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,396
    The E60 5er is arguably the most heinous BMW styling effort in modern history

    I couldn't agree more, they even messed up the grille (it looks blobby IMO) but I don't mind so much since I have an E39. ;)
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,917
    E39 is a pretty timeless and elegant design...still looks good, especially in M5 or sport trim.
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,071
    Ewww! Seem anime artists are now designing cars. The grille looks like it was designed by the Pokemon animators. The back of the car looks like it was designed by the Transformers animators.
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