Oliver Heilmer Revealed as New MINI Design Boss
BMW has announced that Oliver Heilmer will take over as head of design at British car brand MINI as of September 2017.
The 42-year-old designer is currently president of Designworks, BMW’s industrial design consultancy that has studios in California, Munich and Shanghai. Heilmer has been part of the BMW Group design team for 17 years and was responsible for interior design for the BMW brand up until 2016.
In the MINI design team Heilmer will lead from September, Christopher Weil remains in charge of exterior design, with Kerstin Schmeding responsible for colour and material design. Interior design will be headed by Christian Bauer from the start of June.
“The ‘MINI VISION NEXT 100’ provided an impressive demonstration of MINI’s future viability,” explained Adrian van Hooydonk, head of BMW Group Design. “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.”
Holger Hampf, in turn, will succeed Heilmer as president of Designworks. Hampf was a member of the Designworks management team from 2002 and responsible for product design up until 2010, when he moved to an external design studio. Since returning to the BMW Group in 2014, the 50-year-old’s responsibilities have included user interface design and realigning the design team for digitalisation.
These latest crop of personnel changes are part of BMW’s so-called “NUMBER ONE > NEXT” corporate business strategy, which will see the German manufacturer aiming to implement shorter development cycles, increasing digitalisation of design processes, as well as products and mobility experiences. Smaller project teams are also expected to form part of the new structure.
As previously announced, Jozef Kabaň will take over as head of the BMW car design team in the second half of the year. Domagoj Dukec has been responsible for design for the BMW i and BMW M sub-brands since March 2017, while Giles Taylor remains in charge of design for Rolls-Royce, with Edgar Heinrich responsible for BMW Motorrad design.