BMW design head shrugs off criticism over styling shift, massive grilles

The recent 7 Series facelift helped increase sales despite its controversial grille.

BMW design head Adrian van Hooydonk apparently has no plans to backpedal from his radical styling changes, as exemplified by the recent 7 Series facelift and 4 Series Coupe concept.

The executive has argued that strong opinions are a good thing, confirming that BMW has connected with its 'fans' on an emotional level, according to an interview with Autocar.
"As a company, you have to keep moving," he added. "But the hardest thing to do is make changes while you are successful. If you are no longer successful, people will immediately start saying you need to make changes, but then you are in panic mode."
Referring to the 4 Series concept, which features an enormous kidney grille that swallows the front end from top to bottom, van Hooydonk suggests the styling is purposely 'expressive' and fulfills his vision of reducing the design to fewer elements that each play a bigger role.
The company tested the waters with the latest 7 Series, which also features a much larger grille than the outgoing model. Van Hooydonk has suggested his team opted for the huge kidney grille after a more evolutionary front-end design was deemed too similar to the existing car.
Demand has increased for the refreshed 7 Series, providing more motivation for BMW to continue rolling out similar changes across the rest of its lineup in the coming years.

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