BMW’s Electric Car Gurus Are Defecting to China

The BMW EV car program is going to take a hit
The BMW EV car program is going to take a hit

The people behind some of the most acclaimed electric vehicles on the roads have defected to China, according to Bloomberg.

The news agency reported that Benoit Jacob, the designer of the i8 sports car, has jumped ship to join Future Mobility, an EV startup backed by Tencent Holdings, noted mainly for its social media and online gaming operations, and microelectronics group Foxconn Technology, which makes the iPhone for Apple Inc. Neither company has any pedigree in making cars, although a third shareholder, China Harmony New Energy Auto Holding Ltd., is an established dealer in luxury cars across the country.

Jacob will be joined at Future Mobility by Dirk Abendroth, who heads the i-Powertrain department and Henrik Wenders, a vice-president for product management.

They’ll all be linking up again with Carsten Breitfeld, the former project manager for the i8, who was named CEO of Future Mobility in February.

BMW didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment, but Bloomberg said both Abendroth and Wenders confirmed they were joining Future Mobility.

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