BMW has announced that Laurenz Schaffer will be taking over as the president of its Newbury Park, California-based DesignworksUSA studio on December 1. Schaffer will be replacing Verena Kloos who has been running the facility for the past five years. Kloos is moving back to Germany to run Department of Context Design and Advanced Development for the Werks.
The California studio was launched in 1972 by designer Chuck Pelly and purchased by BMW in 1995. Over the years, Designworks has been responsible for products ranging from coffee makers, to HP printers to Embraer business jet interiors and yachts. They’ve also done some work on cars as well. The current generation Z4 and the original X5 were both born out to the California facility.
Designworks also has two smaller satellite studios in Munich and Singapore. Schaffer has actually been running the Munich studio since 2000 so he knows the people there and how they work.