I've got a couple of bones to pick with BMW designer Chris Bangle. First, I reckon the "flame surfacing" design style that he's inflicted on the brand since the 2002 7-Series has trashed the sina qua non of German automotive elegance. Second, the Ohio-born Bimmer big-wig's insistence on pronouncing perfectly good English words with a German accent (e.g. "owtowmobile" and "schport") strikes me as the worst sort of pistonhead-goes-to- art-school pretentiousness. And now Bangle's really bungled it. On BMW-web-tv, Bangle waxes lyrical about his employer's Geneva auto stand. Ten seconds in, Bangles says "It's kind of an axis of white power here; there are really strong white cars." Now we're not suggesting that Bangle's racist, or that BMW's lack of minorities in their upper executive echelons reflects any kind of ethnic or cultural insensitivity. But that's certainly not the kind of comment you'd expect a car executive to make off the cuff– or fail to realize he had made and order it struck from the record. And the fact that Bangle's axis of white power comment made it onto BMW's website tells us they lack English-speakers, political sensitivity or both. Just sayin'.
[TTAC scribe Martin Schwoerer has kindly uploaded the clip onto YouTube.]