Kinetic Design Chief Retires From Ford Motor Company

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Martin Smith, the mastermind behind the Kinetic styling language, announced his retirement from Ford's European arm. The Brit's position as head of design will be taken over by American-born Joel Piaskowski.
First showcased in 2005 on the Iosis concept car, Kinetic Design elements replaced the late 1990s New Edge stylistic theme. Regarded as the aesthetic foundation of modern Ford vehicles, Kinetic Design was first applied to the Mk III Ford Galaxy, S-Max and C-Max, as well the 2007 Ford Mondeo which Agent 007 used as a rental car in 'James Bond: Casino Royale'.

64-year-old Martin Smith is the man responsible for instigating the Ford Motor Company's bold, dramatic styling language. Before joining the Blue Oval in 2004, Smith had lots of experience under his belt by previously working for Opel, where he designed the 2004 Astra. But his best achievements hark back to the '80s and '90s, when he penned the interior design of the first-gen Audi TT and the exterior aesthetics of the iconic Audi Quattro.

Before he retires at the end of the year, Smith's role will be fulfilled by 45-year-old Joel Piaskowski starting July 1st. Currently the head of Ford's strategic concepts group, Piaskowski was hired as director of exterior design in 2010. His most recent works include the all-new 2015 Ford Mustang and 2015 Ford F-150 pickup truck.

Raj Nair, the global product development chief at Ford, declared that "Martin's leadership and passion for great design not only invigorated Ford of Europe's line-up but influenced Ford designs globally. In his new role, Martin will continue to help our world-class design team create future vehicles that are true to our Ford values, even more distinct from the competition and meaningful to our customers."
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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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