Former designer Mazda received a leadership position in CheryOctober 5, 2018
The Chinese auto industry continues to entice the world’s leading designers. This week it became known that the British Kevin Rice, who previously worked in BMW and Mazda, now holds the position of chief designer in Chery.
55-year-old Rice is a world car design veteran with a wealth of experience. A graduate of the Department of Transport Design at Coventry University in 1986, he collaborated the longest with Mazda – from 1995 to 2000 (he participated in the development of the RX-8 rotary compartment) and from 2013 to 2018 (as a designer ). Before Mazda, Kevin Rice managed to work in the Italian studios I.DE.A and ItalDesign, and with Ford and GM (in particular, with the Opel and Saab brands). In the period from 2000 to 2013, the British designer worked at BMW and became the author of the exterior of the Mazda 3 of the outgoing generation F30 and the derived family of 4 Series.
The latest work of Rice in the Japanese firm is likely to be the not yet debuted Mazda3 of a new generation, forerunned by last year’s spectacular concept Mazda Kai.
In Chery, Kevin Rice has been working as chief designer since October 1, and he will obviously be responsible for the entry of Chinese cars into the European market, which is scheduled to take place in 2020. In this case, the debut model will be the Exeed crossover, to which Rice has nothing to do …
Recall that five years ago, Chery had already tried to conquer Europe with compact models of the sub-brand Qoros, but the European automotive press ridiculed them for poor build quality and mediocre driving performance, so the only dealer in Slovenia could barely sell fifty cars. In China, Qoros did not succeed either, and at the beginning of this year, Chery sold the brand to the Baoneng Group holding.
At Chery itself, sales in the home market last year fell by 4.6%, as new SUVs, whose development the company spent millions of dollars on, are not selling well, and one of the likely reasons is a bad design. With the help of Kevin Rice, the design should become better, but, as usual, not immediately: completely new models created under his command will appear no sooner than in two years.