The Wallstreet Journal is reporting that BMW has lost several core members of its BMWi team to Future Mobility, a Chinese electric car start-up. We call them a start-up but they’re actually a well funded company backed by Tencent, a massive Chinese holding company.

Here’s the group that’s been poached:

  • Carsten Breitfeld, a 20-year BMW veteran who developed the company’s i8
  • Dirk Abendroth, lead developer of the electric powertrains for the i-series,
  • Benoit Jacob, head of design at BMW i
  • Henrik Wenders, head of BMW i product management

As the WSJ points out it comes a tough time for BMW as sales of the i range continue to disappoint. What this means for BMW future electric MINIs remains to be seen.