Bangle and his “machais” (L-R): David Robb (BMW Motorrad), Adrian van Hooydonk (BMW), Ulf Weidhase (BMW M and BMW Individual), Ian Cameron (Rolls-Royce), Gert Volker Hildebrand (MINI)

Chris Bangle has quit BMW, and apparently the entire auto industry as well. Succeeding his position as chief of design for the entire BMW Group (including MINI and Rolls-Royce) is Dutchman Adrian van Hooydonk, who is the BMW brand’s design chief.

52-year old Bangle who has worked in BMW since 1992 is not moving to another car company but is instead leaving to pursue his own design-related ventures beyond the auto industry. Among the work produced by the BMW design team under van Hooydonk’s leadership include the new F01 7-Series, the new Z4 and the upcoming BMW PAS.

This story by NY Times reveals that many of BMW’s controversial designs that made it into production under Bangle’s watch have erroneously been attributed to him. He merely approved it. The “Bangle butt” should more appropriately be called the “van Hooydonk butt”. As for the whole controversial “flame surfacing” design, which many have said is a mere collection of random surface shapes to conceal an unimaginative design, the article claims that to be the responsibility of another American, Chris Chapman.