2011 BMW X5

BMW Designer gets picked up by Hyundai

As much as we love our favorite German carmaker and as much as we’ve been keeping our eyes on them, apparently there’s a few things going on with the rest of the automotive industry.

One of the most notable such event of recent times is the leaping forwards of the Korean automotive industry.

2011 BMW X5
2011 BMW X5

Part of this new burst of energy created a need for fresh design ideas and new people at the design compartments of Hyundai and Kia.

Kia got their man from Audi back in 2006 and now one of BMW’s most important designers is going to Hyundai.

We’re talking about Chris Chapman, who was born in Southern California, raised at the Art Center College of Design, bloomed under Isuzu and went on to create magic with BMW.

2011 BMW Z4
2011 BMW Z4

Not everybody would agree with that given his creations but the Bavarian brand did thrive on some of his designs.

Chris Chapman has been named BMW’s director of automotive design back in 2002 and was later promoted to chief of transportation design in 2008.

During his time with BMW Chris Chapman designed the X5 and X3 SAVs, the Z4 roadster and the 1 Series hatchback.

2012 BMW 1 Series M Coupe
2012 BMW 1 Series M Coupe

Along side these designs which actually made it into production Chapman created countless concepts and sketches for the Bavarians.

He’ll now be relocated to Irvine, California where he’ll play out the role of chief designer for Hyundai USA. Not exactly a bad gig but we can’t help but feel he’s gone a couple of steps backwards.


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