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Chris Bangle, BMW Design. A British website (www.autoexpress.co.uk) is reporting that Chris Bangle will be exiting BMW. After a decade of working at the German company's Munich headquarters, where he completely altered BMW's design character (to a negative degree as some critics insist, including us), the website reports that Bangle will leave after the global launch of the 1-series next fall, "before declaring that his daring brand rethink is complete and that the time has come for a new design boss to take over." As we've said many times before, transforming a brand's design character is one of the toughest tasks any automobile designer can face - especially when it involves such an iconic brand as BMW. If this report is true, we have no doubt that Bangle will end up in another top design job somewhere, but his legacy at BMW will be a mediocre one, at best, as far as we're concerned. Bangle didn't so much as revamp the brand's design character, as rip its guts out and hurl it into uncharted, and in some cases, unwelcome territory. Not that revamping a brand design's character shouldn't involve a measure of discomfort and some visually challenging design language, because it should if you believe in continuing to develop a look that will live and breathe in the future. But what Bangle managed to accomplish in one fell swoop was to degrade the integrity of the overall look and feel of BMW and diminish its all-important "presence" on the road - which is no small feat. He brought attention to BMW with his work, but much of it was unwanted attention, which inevitably forced BMW executives to constantly explain, justify and defend the look of their vehicles, instead of talking about the inherent goodness of them. In short, Bangle turned BMW executives into a bunch of apologists for the brand - something that did not sit well with anyone in Munich. Oh, they went out of their way to defend the look of the cars and to defend Bangle himself - dismissing the negative comments as insignificant and being generated by people who "just didn't get it" (the classic designer putdown to "outsiders") - and by implying that what BMW was doing was clearly over the heads of most people, which made things even worse. But the writing has been on the wall for months, with the declining sales of the new 7 Series clear proof that the revamp of BMW's flagship (along with BMW's death-wish fascination with electronic overkill) was a complete disaster. We also keep hearing reports of the factory helping some BMW dealers around the country to "buy back" the 7 Series from disgusted owners, and we wonder how much longer BMW can conceal this from the ever-vigilant automotive media constantly looking for a scoop. The final design tweak that Bangle did, which offended BMW purists to no end, was that he did away with the driver-angled instrument panel center stack - something as much a part of the "look" of BMW as the twin nostril front grill itself. As we mentioned in the item above, BMW has lost its way by losing touch with what made the brand appealing and special to begin with - and Chris Bangle has undeniably contributed immeasurably to its decline.
Source: Autoextremist
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I guess Rex's C&D cover is partially right then, now if only the rest would change...
 

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Let a mad man run amok and look @ what happens.....I hope Honda or Toyota picks him up.
 

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Originally posted by casket_demon@Jan 22 2004, 11:10 PM
Let a mad man run amok and look @ what happens.....I hpoe Honda or Toyota picks him up.
thats harsh. never wish something like that on someone.
 

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Originally posted by Smilingoat+Jan 22 2004, 07:16 PM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (Smilingoat @ Jan 22 2004, 07:16 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-casket_demon@Jan 22 2004, 11:10 PM
Let a mad man run amok and look @ what happens.....I hpoe Honda or Toyota picks him up.
thats harsh. never wish something like that on someone. [/b][/quote]
I didn't wish anything on anyone...so what R U talking about?? :blink:
 

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I'm glad they booted him. I like the Z4, and the new 5, but the 7 got destroyed. I hope the 1 and new 3 coming soon aren't as bad. I'm assuming not, since BMW is getting rid of him. He might be good at another company, but you don't let that design loose on something like the BMW marque
 

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wait... bangle was a bad designer? I thought he was good? All the BMW's now look great. I dont see what he big deal is? I love the new 7, and the 5 is alright...the headlights look a little funky.
 

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I liked all of his cars... z4, 5, 6, and 7 series cars... dunno why everyone hates them. Look better than, gee i dunno.... practically everything GM builds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I guess I was so happy to hear that Bangle was let go, I fogot to site it. (It was also kind of funny that Rex predicted it). Either way, autoextremist has usually been an import leaning, DOHC crazy site. They are usually very anti-gm, although recently that have had some good stuff. Either way, no biggie...
 

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-Not to get off the topic: No, autoextremist.com is not anti GM, it is usually right. Peter DeLorenzo spent decades working for The General and knows us inside and out... he has been around the block (personally knew Billy Mitchell and many others). A highly recommended Wednesday morning read for anyone interested in the industry. Now, note to Bangle; DO NOT send your resume to The General- the 7-series has a hideous Lego rear end that found it's way to the 5-series in the name of intruiging "flamed" surfaces. Last time i checked, it was hard to make "flamed" surfaces from Lego's. Note to BMW: keep up the good work, Cadillac is looking better by the minute.
 

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i liked bangle's cars. i think the 7 is beautiful, the 5 is decent but the back is a little off. the 6 series is very nice, and with the 4 series i think they perfected the design. the upcoming 3 series is sure to be a hit. it's unfortunate they fired him just as the design was truly coming together. and yes, bmw's do look better than any gm car you can currently buy...except maybe the CTS-V, very nice.
 

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That guy is such a clown. I wish he stayed longer so he can destroy BMW. Oh well I guess the engineers will do that job since they have managed to get rid of any road feel. The 7 is alright, but the more I look at it it makes me laugh, I never was a big fan of any 7 anyways, they are an old man's ride. The 5 actually looks nice on the pictures they have on their website, they are usually black to hide the ugliness. I saw one two days ago and man that thing is horrible. I thought it was Bangle's best work, but after I saw it in person I smiled and said "BMW is screwed". The 6 is just plain boring, it might be fast or whatever (I'll take a C6 anyday over this) but the car is so plain it looks like a cross of a sebring and grand prix. The photochops of the 4 & 3 are getting high regard by people and I don't see it, they look boring just like the 6. Remember if they look boring in a photochop that a bimmer fan wants, you know they are desperate, because the actual car will probably look pretty lame. I know some "true" fans of 3 series that are already switching to A4s. Sad days for BMW & their fans to come, happy days for the rest of us. Now let's see how VW manages to screw Audi some more by placing cars like the Phateon over their flagship A8. Next will be their roadster that will destroy the TT. Why?? Nobody can stay on top of their game that long, ask Joe Montana, Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky, heck even ask GM. Thank god GM is a big company and will probably make a comeback since even on their bad years they were still selling tons of cars. If a smaller company like BMW fails, it might be the end. Goodbye BMW and have fun rebuilding your company, if you can...
 

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:lol:
I actually like the new look of BMW. it is extrememly difficult to rebrand an entire lineup and create a new identity. Not many people have the vision and the skills to do that and do it successfully.

I simply don't understand the problem with BMW. The designs are fresh and exciting. Yes, there is techno overkill inside, with absolutely no ease of use. But that's really not BMW's fault. It is Microsoft for creating the unuseable interface and design. I find the 7 very elegant yet muscular, same with the 5's.

Even Cadillac has had naysayers when it comes to ARt & Science!! Even from day 1 with Evoq. Not everyone is into sculpted modern interiors with all the angles and such.

Besides, I think the worst design was Ford's "next-gen Taurus," in which the designer said, "let's create a car based on an oval!" Geeeeeez. <_<
 

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This is really good news!!! I along with a majority of BMW owners, yes, I also own a BMW, do not like the design direction Bangle took us. The new design is very forgettable and people who buy these cars will find they cannot unload them. I've talked to several BMW sales people and they tell me that the cars won't leave the lots. Thank God he didn't have a chance to screw up the 3 series. I sent a letter to BMW America's management and told them that I was wanting to get a new 5 series until I saw one. After that, I decided I couldn't do it. BMW aliented a huge majority of their existing customers. Not the way to sell more cars.
 

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from a business standpoint i guess it's good that they got rid of him. it seems that the majority of people simply don't like the cars. i guess i'm the minority in actually liking the new designs. i guess the question now is how does BMW get back to where they were? will they do quick redesigns and facelifts? or will they wait it out with what they have until they have new product to come out again? i hope it doesn't hurt them too much because they really do make some of the very best cars on the road i think. i respect them for having the guts to try something new when they were already successful, even if it didn't entirely work out.
 

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Well, I always hated BMW, they have looked boring for decades. This is why I personally liked the new Bangle-mobiles (except the Z4). They are styled to look like something special instead of standard car, with fancy badge on front and back.
Oh well, I guess BMW's will always be badge-delivery systems. That's what the customers want, and that's what the customers get!! :D
 

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The real question here is for those who like the new design, how many people actually went out and bought one! You may like it, but did you buy it! People who buy these cars, buy them for there great handling and conservative looks. We don't enjoy riding around in cars that scream look at me, as they go down the road. We also like the resale value of our cars and having designs that look bad, really screws up the resale when we go to buy the next BMW.
 

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I heard that the reason he was stepping down was because manditory because he's been there for about 12 years. I also heard that he might head up the whole bmw group designs (rolls, bmw, mini) although i havent seen a bmw press release confirming whether this is true or whether he really is getting the boot.
 
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