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Monday, May 2, 2011

BMW Opening Design Studio in Shanghai to Keep A Finger on the Pulse of China

April 25, 2011 at 3:49pm by Alexander Stoklosa

The BMW Group’s in-house design consulting firm, DesignworksUSA, will be opening a new studio in Shanghai later this year—supplementing the feeds from existing studios in Los Angeles, Munich, and Singapore with some Chinese design flair. DesignworksUSA may be a subsidiary of an automotive company in BMW, but it dabbles in industrial and product design for a variety of industries, having designed everything from the Embraer Legacy jet to a reimagined 1950’s-era Emeco aluminum chair. Of course, the consulting firm doesn’t forget its parent; contributions to BMW’s stable include the Z4, X Coupe, and Rolls-Royce Phantom.

DesignworksUSA’s Singapore studio has been in operation since 2006, but given the rapidly growing influence of China on the global automotive industry, DesignworksUSA’s execs know it’s important to have a presence in China. This will enable the company to work on non-automotive products there and get a feel for the tastes of Chinese consumers. We’re sure that China’s role as the quickest-growing market for BMW and the largest automotive market in the world played into the decision, too. (BMW is presently represented in China in a partnership with Brilliance Auto.)

This certainly sounds like a good strategic move for the future of BMW design—we just hope it doesn’t lead to a long-wheelbase Z4.

Tags: BMW, China, DesignworksUSA |

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