• Apr 11, 2011
BMW has hired away former Opel exec Frank Weber, according to Automotive News Europe. In his new position, Weber will report to Klaus Draeger, BMW's head of research and development. The hiring of Weber shows that automakers value expertise in the alternative-technology vehicle segment, since BMW rarely snags execs from its competition, preferring to promote from within. Adding Weber to its roster of employees is a move that should provide BMW with a boost in electrified vehicle expertise as its eyes the launch of both the battery-powered i3 and the plug-in hybrid i8 in 2013.

Long-time AutoblogGreen readers have come to know Weber as the leader of the team that transformed the Chevrolet Volt from a wild-eyed concept to a production vehicle. Weber was the global chief engineer for electric vehicles at General Motors during his time in the U.S. In late 2009, GM announced that Weber would return to Germany to take over as the head of corporate product planning for Opel and Vauxhall. Opel has yet to name a successor for Weber.

[Source: Automotive News Europe – sub. req.]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 7 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      Seems to be a trend. If you're GM management and you've worked with the Volt, .. adios .....


      Bob Lutz, Vice Chairman -- Gone
      Beth Lowery, VP for Energy and Environment -- Gone
      Larry Burns, VP of Research and Development -- Gone
      Frank Weber, E-Flex Vehicle Line Executive -- Gone
      Nick Zielinski, Volt Chief Engineer (Fuel Cell) -- Gone
      Denise Gray, Director of Hybrid Energy Storage Systems -- Gone
      Bob Kruze, Director of Hybrids and EV's -- Gone
        • 3 Years Ago
        You forget that GM went through bankruptcy restructuring in the same time frame, which would cause much of this turnover, whether the Volt existed or not. For those who worked on the Volt, it simply means that they are able to land on their feet.
      • 3 Years Ago
      The good news continue flowing out of my beloved BMW Brand. Please don't stop this.
      Last week an Exec was saying they were looking at Extended Range add-on to their electrified i range, at last. This week they hired one of the dads of the beautifull VOLT that paved the way to the car of the future (= Plug In Hybrid with Extended Range). Next step for BMW should be to make the synthesis of these new Technos with their REAL CARs ranges, those really bought by their Real Customers, who neither would look at the i3 or just as a 2nd car gadget for local commutings only, or to catch some Tax Credits for once, nor could consider i8 sports car marvel, for more than their dreams....
      So back to hearth we now expect BMW to quote a rapid announcement of an iX6 or better an iX4 for 2012 or not too long after, with a bigger 50KWH Battery pack, an "all electric tracting base" and a stronger extended range that could also recharge the battery while on the ER on the motorway, even if that is not an effective way to do it, but one that BMW customer deserve the right to possess as an option they can use or nor at their choice....
      • 3 Years Ago
      BMW probably provided a more competitive pay package in the end, GM wasn't willing to match because they already have a competitive plug-in car already. Good luck Webber, did a great job on the Volt lets see what you can do at BMW.
      • 3 Years Ago
      First to depart from Opel/Vauxhall was Managing Director Hans Demant's departure to Volkswagen AG. Now Frank Weber is taking all that know-how to BMW.

      GM usually poaches from other companies, not the other way 'round. Maybe this is the result of cutting back on bonuses.

        • 3 Years Ago
        what know-how..
        it doesn't look like he was directly responsible for the Volt in any way, not even as an exec. he seems to have been an exec managing the globalization of the Volt, meaning he told some Opel engineers to make a copy of the Volt. he's a suit.
        and even if he was more directly involved with the Volt, that's hardly great know-how seeing as the Volt was quite over engineered with total disregard for aerodynamics, weight and cost effectiveness.
        his job consists of buying a lot of expensive suits, 300$ haircut every week and wearing makeup : )
        his competence with regard to electric cars is the realization that if it is battery powered it wont need as much fuel to drive. he likely doesn't appreciate the significance of weight and aerodynamics let alone have any disciplined understanding of mechanical and electrical engineering.
        he wont have the mental fortitude to take one look at the i8 and say they are doing it wrong when an all carbon car lands on 1400kg. because he doesn't have any know-how
      • 3 Years Ago
      I don't think we should try to read too much into this. Weber is German and has probably grew up dreaming of being part of an illustrious German car company like BMW or MB.