When Mini chief designer Anders Warming abruptly bid his employer goodbye in July, it was a surprise -- and it stung.
Warming, now 44, was one of BMW Group's design stars, with a portfolio that includes some of BMW and Mini's most successful cars. The departure set tongues wagging in the German industry.
A few weeks later, the mystery was over: Warming emerged as chief designer and board member of Borgward, the long-forgotten German technology leader that resurfaced at the 2015 Frankfurt auto show more than five decades after its spectacular demise. Today, Borgward Group is a subsidiary of Beiqi Foton and aims to squarely attack the German premium carmakers.
The Chinese auto industry is brimming with new players and investors, and they are seeking design talent from established European carmakers to help them compete successfully.