Key Members of BMW’s i Team Leave for Chinese Automaker

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Key Members of BMW’s i Team Leave for Chinese Automaker

The core development team for BMW’s i sub-brand of lightweight, electrified cars has left the German company for a Chinese startup automaker. 

Carsten Breitfeld, the main force behind the plug-in hybrid i8 sports car, left BMW last month to become the chief executive of Future Mobility Corp, a Chinese startup backed by Tencent Holdings. Three other key executives from BMW’s i program are now following Breitfeld.

SEE ALSO: 2016 BMW i8 Review

Dirk Abendroth, Benoit Jacob and Henrik Wenders, the men responsible for designing and developing the powertrain for the i8 have all now taken positions at Future Mobility, leaving a gap in the German company’s i brand.

Sales of both the BMW i3 and i8 failed to meet expectations, so BMW has slowed the program for developing the next i model, which isn’t expected until 2020. This is part of the reason for the executives departure a source close to the company told the WSJ. “That’s too long for young people who want to change the world,” said the source.

[Source: Wall Street Journal]

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  • Noe

    No surprises here

    Rather than copy and create a flop (as in prior chinese auto history) just hire a team that knows what they are doing and create your own. Hire/learn and educate.

    Chinese automakers have a few years of catching up on the global market – but – if they spend they can leapfrog that issue in a quicker time frame + a few years of creating brand acceptance