The core development team for BMW’s i sub-brand of lightweight, electrified cars has left the German company for a Chinese startup automaker.
Carsten Breitfeld, the main force behind the plug-in hybrid i8 sports car, left BMW last month to become the chief executive of Future Mobility Corp, a Chinese startup backed by Tencent Holdings. Three other key executives from BMW’s i program are now following Breitfeld.
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Dirk Abendroth, Benoit Jacob and Henrik Wenders, the men responsible for designing and developing the powertrain for the i8 have all now taken positions at Future Mobility, leaving a gap in the German company’s i brand.
Sales of both the BMW i3 and i8 failed to meet expectations, so BMW has slowed the program for developing the next i model, which isn’t expected until 2020. This is part of the reason for the executives departure a source close to the company told the “That’s too long for young people who want to change the world,” said the source.
[Source: Wall Street Journal]
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