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.

Unofficially:

  • 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