Earlier this week, the automobile world was shocked with news that BMW Design Chief Chris Bangle was not only retiring from his duties at BMW, but leaving the auto realm entirely. Say what you want about the direction that Bangle took BMW styling, but there's no evidence that the automaker wanted to see him go. In fact, all indications are that the German automaker wanted him to stay, even extending offers to take on other roles within the company.

So, this begs the question: What made him leave? According to BMWBlog, the designer and his minions – especially his successor Adrian Von Hooydonk – disagreed on what direction to take on the upcoming Project i, which could either be released as its own brand or under the existing BMW or MINI tents. At this point, we don't have any indication which way Bangle was leading, but we should find out soon enough as the automaker has already given the project the green light.

[Source: BMWBlog]