Mr. Habib started his time at BMW back in 1998, when we worked on the exterior design of the 7 Series. Back then, he worked in the design studio lead by Chris Bangle.
In spite of critics regarding what we today call the “Bangle Butt,” the design of the E65 7 Series started from a bold sketch made by designer Adrian van Hooydonk, which was then modified before getting Bangle’s final approval.
The Canadian artist of Lebanese descent left BMW in 2009 after designing a beautiful concept for the Bavarians. He joined Mercedes-Benz for two years, but came back to the Munich-based corporation. This time, Karim Habib was the Head of Exterior Design at BMW.
After Mr. Adrian van Hooydonk left BMW, Karim Habib was promoted to the role of Head of BMW Design. The actions described took place in January 2012, shortly after returning to the blue and white roundel brand. At this point, it is unclear if Karim Habib left BMW for good, or if there is a prospect he will revert to the company in a few years time.
The last creation signed by Habib is BMW’s Next 100 Years Concept. There is no word about his replacement, and nobody knows if he has left the automotive industry for good or has been recruited by a competitor of BMW.
Habib would not be the first executive from BMW that would be head-hunted by another automaker, so it will not be a blow to see him lead the design department of a different brand in the auto industry.