Kez Casey | Jun 2, 2017

The BMW Group has announced a new Head of Design for its Mini brand, appointing Oliver Heilmer to the role.

Heilmer has worked with the BMW Group for the last 17 years, in charge of BMW’s interior design from 2013 until 2016 and most recently as the president of BMW’s Designworks subsidiary.

Mini’s design department has been without an officially-appointed leader for almost 12 months, with Oliver Sieghart operating as acting Head of Design during that period.

Unusually for a head of an automobile design department, Heilmer lacks a list of previous stand-out car designs, though his time with the BMW group points to a thorough knowledge of the industry, its trends and demands.

A design sketch of the current Mini Clubman
A design sketch of the current Mini Clubman

Adrian van Hooydonk, head of BMW Group Design said. “I am confident that the Mini design team under Oliver Heilmer will implement this vision of the brand in future vehicle models and win over MINI customers. With his design expertise and experience, Oliver Heilmer combines continuity with the freshness and vision Mini stands for.”

Other changes within the BMW Group’s design department include the appointment of Gernot Schmierer as the head of User Experience Design, along with the recent announcement of Jozef Kaban as BMW’s Head of Design starting from the second half of 2017 and Domagoj Dukec leading BMW i and BMW M design from March this year.

“The whole team is highly motivated and excited about leading our brand design into a new era,” Adrian van Hooydonk said.

“The decisive success factor in our industry remains the customer experience. The BMW Group design team will ensure that this experience remains emotionally-rewarding in the future, increasingly digital, world of mobility.”

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