BMW i Execs Depart To Join Chinese EV Company Called Future Mobility

APR 20 2016 BY MARK KANE 25

Departures from the BMW i subbrand to the Chinese electric vehicle start-ups continue.

Adventurer Bertrand Piccard (l.) and Dr. Carsten Breitfeld, Head of vehicle Program BMW i8

Adventurer Bertrand Piccard (l.) and Dr. Carsten Breitfeld, Head of vehicle Program BMW i8

After the BMW i8 project manager Carsten Breitfeld and Daniel Kirchert, responsible for the sales division in China left the company, three more people have joined newcomer Future Mobility Corp., which is backed by Tencent Holdings and the Foxconn Technology Group.


  • Dirk Abendroth will be vice president of software and connectivity
  • Benoit Jacob will be vice president of design
  • Henrik Wenders will be vice president of marketing

Abendroth and Wenders confirmed the switch to Automotive News via e-mail.

“Future Mobility, which also counts dealership group China Harmony New Energy Auto Holding Ltd. as a shareholder, is one of several electric vehicle startups getting backed by technology companies in China as the government seeks more innovation within its auto industry. Policy makers have also earmarked new-energy vehicles, the government’s term for plug-in and fully-electric autos, as a strategic, emerging industry for support.”

The are two possible conclusions that first come to mind on the news – the first is that Chinese companies are intensively seeking new talents to jump start EV projects in a red hot market, and the second one is that BMW is losing its execs inside its i subbrand due to internal forces.

source: Automotive News

Categories: BMW

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25 Comments on "BMW i Execs Depart To Join Chinese EV Company Called Future Mobility"

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Here’s My take On Why They Quit BMW….These guys are serious on building Compelling EV’s…While BMW Wants to build “Half Baked” Compliance Cars…..


I don’t think so. When presenting the i3, Jacob was asked what car he drove himself, and his andswer was a 4 series, so an ICE car. If he really was committed, he would be driving one of the i models.


To paraphrase your comment:

These guys are serious on building compelling EV’s… while BMW, Volkswagen, Audi, GM, Ford, Kia, Hyundai and Honda want to build only “half-baked” compliance cars.

Very soon the only real competition for Tesla will be the Chinese.


Thank you for futher clairfication & for expanding on that….


Yeah, it does point to a trail of being a shell company, but more credible conclusion would be producing long range EV with a 10k price point, obviously intended for Chinese market which cannot absorb current high-end high-priced western peers. Fretting that it would lead to creating an advanced 15-25k European and 25-35k US version would encroach into SF sphere unless they have a clue of offering an easy solution for implementing widespread wireless charging infrastrucure. Given that’s not gonna happen in the next 10-12 years all non-Chinese automakers can sleep tight. But after that grace period … you know what ensues.


If hiring westerners could have at least as a result that for once a Chinese company does not come up with a thoroughly ugly car…

The koreans did exactly that.


fiou… for one moment there I though BMW sold there CFRP manifacturing tools, their advanced electric drivetrain and all their patents associated to it. Another click bait as we often get lately on insideEVs.

Come on guys… it just shows how these guy were seaked out the same way when someone from Telsa end up at Apple, it doesn’t mean no one can take over at Tesla. I’m waiting for the “China is the grave yard for BMW employee”

Jay Cole


“BMW i Execs Depart To Join Chinese EV Company Called Future Mobility” is clickbait?

Not sure how else could this news title be worded? “Two high profile people leave their EV company to work for another EV company?”

Also not sure how you got to the assumption of selling their “CFRP” and “electric drivetrains” from that title before reading it? There is literally no commentary in it at all there. Even the story is a straight shot from the Auto News. Perhaps a bit unfair on the judgement here I think.


InsideEVs concluding it’s because BMW is turning his back to EV is also unwarrented.

The title his pretty much the post, no need to add more, insideEVs speculating on the reason is the click bait to have people react to it… it’s a no news unless insideEVs has facts on the reasons and you don’t.

Fact is people tend to trust people they know, one guy moving to an organisation and bringing his buddies with him only tells they trust each others. It doesn’t mean BMW has stop his EV program.

Jay Cole

Well, Mark offered a couple of possible conclusions one could come too. But he doesn’t offer anything about selling off assets, or stopping the EV program…that is your projection.

On the very last line, it offers BMW could be losing execs due to “internal forces”, your example of “bringing his buddies with him” would fit the description of what “internal forces” could be to a T.

Further to that, having a slight editorial comment in the last sentence of a piece is not click bait in the least…click bait is fabricating/embellishing something unfairly – with the intention to generate further/mass pageviews – that is clearly not the case here.

I can assure you that no new/unwarranted readers came to this story via ESP knowledge of the last 19 words of the piece.


Jay, cudos on defending insideEVs positions.

Since this is an “editorial note”, instead of assuming internal struggle why not add ” or may be just buddies that worked well to together in that past and wants to recreate those same condition else where”

And don’t forget, for some people the allure of building from scratch is more important then “operating” something you have put in place.

And this is not that uncommun.

Jay Cole

All fair points, (=


sought (past tense) of seek.
Their instead of there. Their is personal.
There is location or directional or an action place holder.

There is no way I am going to go over there, because it’s theirs.


When your french (or any second language) gets as good as my english you will have the right to correct me 🙂

Rick Danger

Nice attitude. Guess your English will never improve.
C’est la vie.


You did see the smiley face at the end… right?

And don’t worry, my english is pretty good, But without any edit function (why insideEVs doesn’t use Disqus??) it’s hard to correct typos.

Rick Danger

I did see the smiley, and I, too, wish they would use Disqus.


BMW, Nissan, GM, and Hyundai are already selling electric cars they have spent billions devolping…

They are hardly half baked compliance cars…

Unfortunately a lot of the commentors here appear to be half baked with ignorance…
It is also rather comical that you slander the companies that show electric car progess and not the one who have done nothing at all…

Tesla may lead the electric car revolution but they are NOT the revolution itsself…
GM, For, Toyota, VW and all the other big manufactures will be the revolution…


“GM, For, Toyota, VW and all the other big manufactures will be the revolution…”

I remain unconvinced. GM, Ford, Toyota and VW seem content to sit back and wait…. while Tesla, and China (in its own market) plow through the tough hurdles to make vehicle electrification a reality for the average person.

GM: I do give them a lot of credit for the Volt. Truly an engineering marvel, and a unique and under-appreciated vehicle. But the Bolt?… meh. I agree with Lutz… a compliance vehicle, to be used only for trips under about 80 miles. Then it’s back home for a charge.
Ford: where’s Ford?… oh yeah, the soon-to-be-available Focus, NEW with it’s mighty 100 mile range. More compliance.
Toyota: in their dictionary, BEV is spelled “Fool_Cell”.
VW: “really… just give us a few more years, and Buddy will be in your driveway.” I doubt it… they have their hands full with Diesel_Gate.

Rick Danger

Exactly right, +1!


They are giving 5k, or so it is reported, and they still have to fix the offending vehicles.
Just another chapter in VW’s: “The Big Stink.”

Not a happy time for the legacy car-makers whose fundamental problem still remains. A house divided…

Rick Danger

“Unfortunately a lot of the commentors here appear to be half baked with ignorance…”

You are obviously speaking for yourself; FYI, a revolution denotes a “sudden, radical, or complete change”. That would be what Tesla is doing, not the foot dragging and delaying that all the legacy OEMs are doing.

“GM, For, Toyota, VW and all the other big manufactures will be the revolution…”

Wrong. See how ignorant that sentence is now? Glad we cleared that up for you.

Yep, with the legacy makers it’s the ‘Same Old Place’ or the ‘Old Same Place’. You can’t get there from here, because because they are already there, sitting on the porch sippin that ‘Fillipino Creamy’, comin’, in shorts and quarts, watching the ev parade go by andcomplaining about how they miss the good old days, and the way things were way back when, when burning Sappho learned and loved…a wha de do dah. Here are a few reasons why I think is revolutionary: 1. Sales model. Direct sales as opposed to franchise dealers, which only add cost not value to the end product. 2. No advertising. The internet and simply making a fine product are no cost and viewed as more reliable than commercial programming. 3. Making a product that has no competition. There is no competitively priced, and capable ev on the market. 4. Telsa is moving into a mass market vehicle production whereas little competition for that vehicle even appears on the horizon. I don’t the Bolt in the same league. 5. No inventory too speak of, as vehicles are made to order. 6. A supercharger network that has no peer, nor any appearing. 7. There are other… Read more »
Rick Danger

Good comment, all we need now is to cue the organist…


Because, you know, horse-drawn carriage companies and locomotive companies did such a great job becoming builders of gas automobiles. Like Studebaker and uh… uh…