Germany, California, Germany, and back to California again: Laurenz Schaffer, Director of the Munich Studio of BMW Group DesignworksUSA since the year 2000, will be taking over the position of the President of BMW’s Subsidiary in Newbury Park (Los Angeles) in California on 1 December 2009.

“With his many years of experience in numerous areas of design, Laurenz Schaffer has made a significant contribution in recent years to strengthening DesignworksUSA as an international driving force in BMW Group Design and in making the Studio an appealing partner also for external customers. The success of our concept of inter-acting, interdisciplinary transfer of know-how to the mutual benefit of both the BMW Group and external clients of Designworks is largely attributable to Laurenz Schaffer,” states Adrian van Hooydonk, Director BMW Group Design. “Working for our brands BMW and MINI and for companies such as Siemens, HEAD, Sony or Starbucks, he and his team in Munich have consistently paved the way for innovative products and strategies.”

Schaffer, born in 1967, first worked as a product designer with renowned design studios in Stuttgart, Munich, and San Francisco, before joining the Munich Studio of BMW Group DesignworksUSA in 1998. In the year 2000 he took over management of the Munich Studio.From the start, Laurenz Schaffer was fascinated by the concept of this unique Subsidiary which, with studios in California, Munich and Singapore, has acquired international renown in the world of design. “As an external studio, we are able in cooperation with the BMW Group and its brands and with customers outside of the company, to acquire know-how in many different areas. This benefits both sides”, says Schaffer.

In his new function Laurenz Schaffer will focus in particular on the ongoing development of DesignworksUSA as an international agency for strategic design, for product, automotive and transport design, and as a specialist in brand strategy.

DesignworksUSA was established in 1972 by design legend Chuck Pelly and was taken over by BMW in 1995. Today DesignworksUSA comes under the responsibility of BMW Group Chief Designer Adrian van Hooydonk, who himself was the President of this BMW Subsidiary in California from 2001 – 2004.

At DesignworksUSA, designers, engineers, multi-media specialists and model builders form an international team of more than 135 specialists developing the interior of business jets and yachts, mobile telephones, sports equipment, medical/technical equipment, entertainment electronics as well as solutions for graphic and interface design on behalf of customers such as Embraer, Hewlett Packard, and Microsoft.

Laurenz Schaffer is succeeding Verena Kloos as the President of DesignworksUSA in California, who had been in charge of the company since September 2004. Kloos who, after working for Volkswagen, Mazda and DaimlerChrysler Advanced Design, joined BMW and DesignworksUSA, will be responsible from now on in Munich at BMW Group Design for the Department of Context Design and Advanced Development.

Starting on 1 November 2009, Niko von Saurma-Jeltsch will be taking over the Munich Studio. Until 2008, von Saurma-Jeltsch was the successful President of the newly established DesignworksUSA Studio in Singapore, after which he given responsibility for design strategy in Munich.

[Source: BMW ]