By Nick Aziz
Thursday, Jan 12th, 2006 @ 11:16 am
 
Trashed by critics just a few years ago, BMW's chief designer Chris Bangle
is "experiencing a pleasant reversal of fortune," a report in today's Wall Street Jorunal said. In 2001, when Bangle's flagship 7-Series first debuted, Bimmer fans launched a "Stop Chris Bangle," criticizing the "Bangle butt," and other unusual design features. But at this year's auto show in Detroit, designs resembling Bangle's work are cropping up everywhere -- in designs from Mercedes, Lexus, Toyota, and Infiniti. "Suddenly, everyone is trying to do the kind of styling for which the auto journalists criticized the BMW group so loudly," BMW Chief Executive Helmut Panke crowed at a dinner with reporters here. "You look at the Camry rear end and you see another 7 Series. It is not the 'Bangle butt' anymore."