• Mar 30th 2009 at 10:33AM
  • 11
Derek Jenkins has spent his entire professional design career within the walls of the VolkswagenGroup, first working on the Concept 1 (which became the New Beetle) under J Mays. After having also worked on the Audi A2, the Microbus concept, the GX3 (seen above), as well as the Passat Gold Coast and Eos Highway 1 concepts for Pebble Beach, Jenkins has retired from VW this month.

According to Edmunds' Straightline blog, the designer's new gig is with Mazda, where he will replace Franz von Holzhausen (the young gun who defected to Tesla in April of 2008) as the head of the company's North American design efforts. Now, if he can just do something about those smiley faces...


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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      A) Mazda's design has been light years ahead of VW for the past two decades. The only good looking car VW produced in this period was a Beetle.
      B) The Mazda's smile is the best incarnation of smiley faces on any car. I like it, it gives Mazdas the CHARACTER, unlike the sterile and naive design of VW group cars or vulgar and afterthought driven shape of BMW and Mercs.
      C) Let's hope that Jenkin's creativity will get space it deserves in Mazda.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Thank god. Mazda needs to understand that just because a concept vehicle, like the Furai, looks fantastic, it doesn't mean you can just slap those "design cues" on a rectangle and have it look good.

      A good car design is not a blanded-out version of and over-the-top concept. Good car design comes from carefully proportioning and styling the car in ways appropriate to its size and purpose.

      Good luck Derek - please do your best to get a word in on the new Miata and RX-7 designs. Maybe you can bring some of that 3-wheeler concept with you... that thing would sell like hotcakes, liability be damned....
      • 6 Years Ago
      Why didn't VW make that GX3, I would have 2 by now.... one for track only and one for summer commutes!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Noooo, I don't want boring VW design at Mazda, go away. ush ush.
      • 6 Years Ago
      "retired from VW this month."

      No he hasn't. He's resigned...
      • 6 Years Ago
      Let's all hope that as a stipulation of jumping to Mazda he pushed to get Mazda to drop that huge stooooopid grin they are polluting their cars with.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Well look at VW/Audi and their faces, big but very well done.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Damn you just beat me to the smile comment
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'm worried though, VW cars are not exactly exciting with the EOS (boring) A2 (Boring and bland). VW are the German versions of Toyotas vanilla styling. Mazda of late have had nice upscale styling and some of the best interior designs in the industry...well see what will happen.

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