The 42-year-old Lebanon-born Canadian joined the BMW design team in 1998 and since then has held a number of roles in interior and exterior design, most recently as the head of BMW brand’s exterior design department.
Working under controversial design chief Chris Bangle, Habib was responsible for the exterior design of the current BMW 7-Series and the 2007 BMW Concept CS (pictured above)
After 11 years at BMW he went behind enemy lines to Mercedes-Benz where he headed the Stuttgart-based company’s advanced design studio.
Around two years later he returned to BMW to work under Bangle’s successor, the current BMW Group design chief Adrian van Hooydonk.
From June, Habib will oversee all interior and exterior design for BMW brand vehicles, not including Mini and Rolls-Royce. He will continue to report directly to van Hooydonk, who has the final say over all of the group’s vehicle designs.
Van Hooydonk was full of praise for Habib and predictably excited by the appointment.
“Karim Habib is an outstanding designer who has had a significant impact on the design of the BMW brand over many years,” van Hooydonk said.
“His longstanding experience and subtle instinct for timely elegance and dynamics are the ideal prerequisites for this demanding task. I look forward very much to his support and collaboration.”