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General Motors has recently lost one of its star engineers who had been largely responsible for the Chevrolet Volt, Opel and Vauxhall derivatives.
According to Automotive News Europe, Opel executive Frank Weber was accepted into BMW, and will answer directly to Klaus Draeger, BMW’s head of research and development. The external hiring from a competitor was unusual for BMW, which tends to promote from within.
This snapping up a GM engineer might help explain our recent observation that BMW seemed to be taking cues from the GM playbook, by saying it would consider a range-extended car in its panoply of gas-electric vehicles under development.
Weber was one largely credited with making the Volt a serial production car, and not just one more gee-wiz concept for GM. Until a couple years ago, he had been the global chief engineer for GM’s electric vehicle development. Late in 2009, he was sent to take over as head of corporate product planning for Opel and Vauxhall. His successor at Opel has not yet been announced.