Ford has appointed Joel Piaskowski to lead its design team in Europe, succeeding Martin Smith. Piaskowski boasts of having 24 years of international automotive experience and is currently chief of the carmaker’s strategic concepts group. He was in charge of the team that designed the new Ford Mustang and F-150 pickup.
In his new role, Piaskowski will be leading the design of all concept and production vehicles in Europe while supporting the carmaker global design initiatives. His work experience includes stint at Mercedes's advanced design center in California and at Hyundai in the US.
He also boasts of more than 12 years of exterior and interior design experience at General Motors. Moray Callum, Ford’s vice president of design, said in a statement that Piaskowski’s international experience and product versatility are particularly important as Ford continue to leverage its “design talent around the globe.”
Piaskowski will report to Callum and Ford of Europe product development boss Joe Bakaj. Carmakers are seeing their sales recover in Europe this year after six years of slump, with Ford chief Alan Mulally declaring that he is "very bullish" on the European car market.
Ford has forecasted a lower loss in Europe this year and a turnaround next year. Ford has managed to narrow its first-quarter pretax operating losses in Europe to $194 million from $425 million in 2013.
Smith is set to retire at yearend but will work closely with Callum on a global project over the future direction of Ford design. Smith headed the development of a new exterior design language for Ford of Europe -- the “kinetic design.”
Kinetic design can be seen in European models like the first-generation S-Max and Kuga, fourth-generation Mondeo and second-generation C-Max.