From the official Press Release:
Laurens van den Acker has been appointed General Manager of the Design Division of Mazda Motor Corporation.
As head of the design division, he will lead a consolidated Mazda design team responsible for the overall design and styling of all Mazda global products. He is replacing replacing Moray Callum who has been appointed to Ford’s
automotive design director post.
Van den Acker will report to Seita Kanai, Senior Managing Executive Officer in charge of R&D.
He is currently located at the company’s world headquarters in Hiroshima, Japan.
Laurens van den Acker (credits: Foto: Auto-Reporter/Mazda) In his talk "Breaking the Paradox" held at "VROOM: The Future of Car Design and Car Culture", Laurens explained why, in the future, a designer will be more and more confronted by seemingly-opposed demands. "To create solutions that meet these demands, paradoxes have to be broken, borders crossed and risks taken."
- Speaking about the Ford Model U Concept, van den Acker said “If Henry Ford was to look at a modern-day vehicle, the only thing that truly would surprise him would be the electronics.”
About Laurens van den Acker
Ford Model U Concept Prior to joining Mazda, van den Acker was the Chief Designer, Strategic Design, at Ford Motor Company’s design offices in Dearborn, Michigan.
From 1998-2005, he held several prominent design positions at Ford, among them chief designer of the Brand Imaging Group in Irvine, California and, more recently, chief designer for the Ford Escape platform.
Notable cars which van den Acker has worked on, have been the Ford Bronco, Ford 427, Model U and Ford 24/7 concept vehicles, as well as the Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner production cars.
Before to joining Ford , van den Acker also worked for Volvo, SHR Perceptual Management and Audi AG. He began his career as a lead designer at Design System srl in Turin, Italy, in 1990.
Mr. van den Acker graduated from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands in 1990 with a Master of Engineering degree from the Faculty of Industrial Design. He is fluent in Dutch, German, English and Italian.