Oliver HeilmerEnlarge Photo
The BMW Group confirmed on Thursday that Oliver Heilmer will take over as the new design boss at Mini.
Mini's last design boss, Anders Warming, left the brand last summer to join Chinese-backed automaker Borgward.
Heilmer is currently head of BMW Group’s Designworks studio and will start his new role on September 1. He will report to Adrian van Hooydonk who heads the design teams for all BMW Group brands.
Heilmer’s appointment ends speculation that Frank Stephenson, the designer of the first-generation Mini Hardtop, was about to return to the brand. Stephenson had been heading design at McLaren for the past several years but stepped down earlier this year. His replacement at the British supercar brand has been confirmed as Rob Melville.
As for Heilmer, the 42-year-old has been with the BMW Group for the past 17 years, working mostly for the BMW brand. At Mini, he will lead Christopher Weil who is in charge of exteriors, Christian Bauer who is in charge of interiors, and Kerstin Schmeding who is in charge of colors and materials.
In a statement, van Hooydonk hinted at the next evolution of Mini design by referencing the brand’s Vision Next 100 concept unveiled in 2016. He said he was confident that Heilmer will be able to implement the vision put forward by the concept in future Minis.
Meanwhile, replacing Heilmer at Desginworks will be Holger Hampf.