Head of BMW i design and chief product manager joining Chinese electric car company

BMW i | April 19th, 2016 by 12
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Future Mobility, an electric vehicles startup backed by Tencent Holdings, is making three top acquisitions from BMW. Dirk Abendroth, Benoit Jacob and Henrik Wenders will …

Future Mobility, an electric vehicles startup backed by Tencent Holdings, is making three top acquisitions from BMW. Dirk Abendroth, Benoit Jacob and Henrik Wenders will join Future Mobility Corp. as vice presidents of software and connectivity, design, and marketing, respectively, according to the people, who declined to be identified before the information is made public. The executives will join Carsten Breitfeld, the former project manager for BMW’s i8 plug-in sports car hired to be Future Mobility’s chief executive officer.

Jacob was the head of BMW i design and the man behind the i3 and i8, while Wenders was in charge of product management at BMW i.

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Michael Rebstock, a spokesman for BMW, declined to comment for Bloomberg, but Abendroth and Wenders said in emails that that they’re joining Future Mobility, while Benoit didn’t immediately reply.

Future Mobility plans to create a “premium brand with Chinese roots and a global reach.”

 The company will base research and development in Shenzhen, where it’s headquartered, and have R&D units in Europe and Silicon Valley to focus on powertrain and autonomous driving, respectively, according to the people. Future Mobility also plans to have a plant in China assembling autonomous electric vehicles.

12 responses to “Head of BMW i design and chief product manager joining Chinese electric car company”

  1. John says:

    If he’s the guy who looked at the rear of the i3, and said “Looks good”, I’m glad he’s gone to work in China.

  2. CDspeed says:

    I gues they were getting board………….

  3. Mike333 says:

    Well, it is the most efficient solution on the market, along with sports car handling ( the i3 ).

  4. Pixelbase Electric says:

    Time will tell how much of a brain drain these departures are. Since we are in a time frame where BMW i should be getting the i5 and i3 mk2 ready, this must be quite a disturbance.

  5. jason bourne says:

    Leaving a sinking ship….?

  6. […] month, Future Mobility, an electric vehicles startup backed by Tencent Holdings, made three top acquisitions from BMW. Dirk Abendroth, Benoit Jacob and Henrik Wenders will join Future Mobility Corp. as vice presidents […]

  7. […] After several BMW i executives left the company to join a newly formed Chinese EV startup, two former Tesla executives are following suit. According to Electrek, the two executives joining the Future Mobility Corp, backed by Tencent Holdings to form a new management are Stephen Ivsan and Marc Duchesne. Both were higher-up figures in Tesla Motors. This marks yet another “poaching” of high-profile executives by the mysterious Chinese automaker. […]

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