Just wondering what are the chances of being hired by BMW after graduating from ID? Would they be looking for a BA or MA degree or does it matter? I have thought about the chances of having to relocate as the only “work” areas I know of are in Germany and South Carolina, US. And of course, some in Canada. Is anybody familiar with their line of work, what BMW looks for in a designer, and areas of work (preferably in America)? Any help is much appreciated…

This is where they crank out the cool stuff… California, Munich, or Singapore.

Even lists a phone number!

Pretty sure there isn’t any design being done in Spartanburg, SC. The link posted above is your best bet. They do some fantastic work, that’s for sure.

I was fortunate enough to do compete in a bike race held at the BMW Performance Center in Spartanburg this past spring. During the races (it was cold and raining,) they were giving free rides in M6’s and M Coupes in the middle of the course. So while I’m killing myself out there on my bike, people are having fun doing power-slides in a V-10 powered-sportscar. And they had heat!!

That was a miserable day.

i’ve applied there like 8000 times. maybe i just suck…? i don’t think i’ve even gotten an automated response. i would love to work there though.

thanks for the input… and I’m so glad you showed me designworksusa! not sure I’d want to live in California. Has anybody here had experience freelancing with BMW?

Not to be a jerk or anything, but freelancing for BMW? Only if you’re some sort of design icon.

Yeah, that does seem a bit over-ambitious. Unless your name is Jonathan Ive or you’re Chris Bangle’s nephew or something.

But, good luck with that.

yeah =) but it couldn’t hurt to ask about the possibilities… I’ve just heard of some designers that jump from Ford, to Audi and then even design for Nike, or do other products non automotive.

A designer like Yo!, CG or other big-timers on this forum could possibly do that, but when you are start talking about automotive designers, they’re generally the best of the best. Designers with Nike and sporting-goods companies might have a shot working with Ford in their interior design department, as they’ve put much more focus on that in recent years (although I have yet to see any actual evidence of this.) Could be just media spin.

Also, keep in mind that BMW does most of their design work in the motherland. You’ll be competing against euro designers as well. Not trying to dissuade you. Just trying to set reality in there. BMW is one of those companies that you sell your house and leave everything you know just to work with them for a year. it sets up your entire career because you can essentially write your own ticket from there on out.

Or perhaps I’m making BMW out to be much more than what it actually is. It’s the automotive equivelent of Apple.

I think that this is the kind of move that you have to build up to. I think that if you put yourself on a path of continual improvement and set up steps that increase your chances of being where you want to be you will eventually get there. That is how Yo did it.

They look for designers that can represent their ideas in sketch well and have a portfolio of varied and unusual work, not necessary in industrial design.

btw did you want to do auto design or product design? I’m speaking from product stand point, btw.

You have to ask the auto guys if you are looking for auto design career.

I’m guessing product design, more so looking to get a degree for personal freedom to invent too. I’ve got alot of sketches and alot of work towards my own inventions, product design etc. but without educational background yet. BMW is something I’d like to see myself being apart of in the future, working for, contributing my ideas, if even for a short time. I’m constantly dreaming of new designs for BMW.

Actually, here in Germany the equivalent of Apple in the Automotive field is AUDI in the meantime.

I’d say VW would be a closer match to apple in terms of design philosophy.


VW? Why VW?

just alot more similar to apple in design philosophy. more consistent. similar friendly approach to design and marketing, values of simplicity, ease of use, honesty. approach of making technology more approachable and less “techy”. …

im not knocking Audi, but dont really see any similarity to apple in any way. They do have some great cars, but just not the continued design awareness of Apple, IMHO.

Why do you pick Audi?


Hi Richard,

I picked Audi for the following reasons:

As I said in my first post, this is how people see it in Germany, in other countries it might be different.

Ok, Audi’s strategy is since some years to become the “Design Leader” of the Automotive brands. Here in Germany the defenitely succeeded in this. 20 years ago their claim was Vorsprung durch Technik, but this is not their main claim anymore. They are seen now as the leaders when it comes to design, the new A4, the A6 Avant (Wagon) and especially the RS8. Their design is like a sculpture. They are also responsible for the Lamborghini design.

Their design is compared to the others very pure and simple but with a lot of emphasis to detail. Thats why I compared them to Apple.

VW on the other hand, doesn’t have the impact on people over here like AUDI. Sure, they make good cars, but Audi’s are just a little bit better.

What I can say pro VW is, is that they have a great design center here in Berlin, (actually it is in Potsdam, but this is like a suburb) which is located directly at a lake.


i dunno. i do indeed like audi cars, but i actually see BMW if anything as more of a design leader. innovation in flame surfacing, etc.

Audi for sure does make better cars than VW, but i think in some way both apple and VW try to appeal to the everyday person in a similar way.

maybe if you lived around munich, you might have a different opinion. I do know quite a few people living in germany, and surely dont think there is 100% national consensus on top car marques. afterall, you do have lots to choose from incl. BMW, Mercedes, Porsche and VW (and think im likely missing one or two as well).


Well, in regards to BMW… I’d want to be with BMW, not so much Audi, VW… though I’m not putting down anything German made.

From what Ive been told lately, (in my search for a used a6) Audi is actually owned by vw.

having mentioned that and having looked at the various a6 cars from the last 5-7 years, I have to say Audi seems to have little ongoing concern for fresh design, much the way vw and apple do. IE all the cars I look at are really very similiar for the last five to seven years down to the features.