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BMW Group has made some changes to its design team since August 1, and has shuffled top personnel to different positions at BMW Design, Mini Design and Rolls-Royce.

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Back in the day, a Rolls-Royce looked pretty much the same as a Bentley, but with a different grille. Once BMW took over Rolls-Royce, however, it was faced with the challenge of visually separating itself from its former sister brand. And most would agree that it did so pretty well. But its cars have looked pretty much the same ever since. What Rolls-Royce needs, then, is a bit of a design shake-up. And that's just what this latest appointment could bring.

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BMW Group Frankfurt show stand – Click above for high-res image gallery

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Chris Bangle, who left BMW earlier this week to move "beyond the automobile," did not create the butt that bears his name – Adrian van Hooydonk did. But most importantly, Bangle did not stand behind that butt; he stood in front of it. It was Bangle's vision for not just BMW, but for automobiles entirely, that allowed that bustle butt to come into existence. Two new essays that look at BMW design before Bangle and the scope of automotive design after Bangle are well worth reading, even if y

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You won't have Chris Bangle to kick around anymore. The BMW Group design chief famously (or infamously, depending on your point of view) took BMW styling in a radical new direction beginning with the 2002 7-Series, a car that featured the extremely controversial "Bangle Bustle," and then really pushed the envelope (and some enthusiasts' patience) with the "flame-surfaced" 2002 Z4. The automaker's designs have mainstreamed considerably in the intervening years, but Bangle's impact is without ques

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BMW's research unit has announced its latest innovation; the groundbreaking research has led to.... a Mobil Speedpass. This new multifunction smart key, co-developed with NXP Semiconductor, is actually more functional than ExxonMobil's 11-year-old RFID gadget, but that's the general idea. Wrapping NXP's latest SmartMX chip into a prototype car key will enable users to pay for items with the key, as well as using the contactless payment feature to pay for public transportation and tolls, too. Per

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Demonstrating that there is good news still to be found in some sales departments, BMW Group announced their worldwide January through June 2008 sales for BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce brands increased 4.7 percent compared to last year. The sales total of 764,874 automobiles marked the most successful half-year of sales in the history of BMW Group. All three brands contributed to the sales increase, in varying capacities. BMW sales grew 2.4 percent, thanks to the BMW 1 Series and 3 Series Cabrio, wh

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For the first time in four months, Mercedes-Benz outsold arch-rival BMW in July, as sales for the BMW brand fell 7.7 percent. However, the BMW Group (BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce) handily outsold the Mercedes Car Group (Mercedes-Benz, Smart, Maybach).

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