Blog: Dave LeggettSwapping Detroit for London

Dave Leggett | 27 January 2005

I recently walked past the building in London where Ford’s Ingeni design studio used to be before it was closed down. Ford kept hold of the building though and it will be the new workplace for chief designer J Mays. It’s nicely situated in an area of London where affluent and creative types like to be.

And the things well-heeled creative types like – such as good cafes, bars and restaurants – are also much in evidence. He’ll certainly not be short on ideas for an off-site location for a bit of brainstorming or a spot of lunch. Very nice.

It is possibly a little cheeky of me to say this, but if I were at Ford I would be looking for evidence fairly quickly that he’s raised his game a little. Some of what he’s been responsible for – the buck has to stop with him on design - isn’t too inspiring. And I know I’m echoing the views of many when I say that. The bland looking Ford Fusion for the US market is the latest disappointment.

And I keep seeing the new Ford Focus on the road here in Britain: a great car by some criteria I’m sure, but most definitely underwhelming to look at – the old one just looks much better to me. (And the New Focus TV ad campaign on British TV is unbelievably irritating rubbish, but that’s another story.)

But I say good luck to J Mays, Ford’s new CCO (‘Chief Creative Officer’ – who dreamt that one up?). Ford could quite possibly do with some hit products on its big volume blue oval badged lines a few years down the line – on both sides of the Atlantic.

GERMANY: Ford gives chief designer role wide-ranging new powers


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