David Hilton

Bentley has named designer David Hilton as the company's head of exterior design. Hilton ran his own successful design firm for 12 years before accepting the position with the ultra-luxury automaker. He will now report to Dirk van Braeckel, director of design and styling. Hilton is stepping into the shoes of Raul Pires, who left the company at the end of last year to join forces with Italdesign, the Volkswagen-owned design studio.

Hilton has over two decades of automotive design experience under his belt, having worked with companies from Ford to Volkswagen. The last-generation Ford Focus RS is among his notable accomplishments.

He'll have his work cut out for him moving forward. Bentley is slated to unleash a rash of new products in the coming months, including an all-new SUV and a replacement for the company's aging Continental line. Click past the jump for the full press release.
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HILTON JOINS BENTLEY AS HEAD OF EXTERIOR DESIGN

Crewe, 9 February 2012: Internationally acclaimed designer David Hilton has been appointed Head of Exterior Design for Bentley Motors Ltd. After 12 years running his own successful design firm, Hilton moves to Crewe in the UK reporting to Bentley's Director of Design and Styling Dirk van Braeckel.

Hilton has over two decades experience within automotive design having worked with a wide variety of global companies. Award winning projects for a range of European and Japanese brands established his reputation and helped the companies attract new customers. Prior to this, Hilton worked at Ford for many years in both Detroit and Germany as well as a spell with Mazda in Japan. A former Chief Designer at Ford Racing, he also has experience within the Volkswagen Group having been a designer at VW Autolatina in Brazil.

Announcing Hilton's appointment, Dirk van Braeckel commented:

"With such vast experience and creative design talent, David will be a huge asset to the team at Crewe. His proven creative excellence will undoubtedly help us build on our current highly successful model line-up and enhance the appeal of Bentley cars to our customers world-wide.

"I am looking forward to working with him."

Hilton commented:

"I am thrilled to be joining Bentley at this exciting time. Bentley has a distinctive design language which reflects the history and heritage of the Brand but remains relevant to today's high luxury customers. This is a tremendous privilege and opportunity and I hope I can draw on the passion that I know everyone associated with the marque shares and help shape the design of the next generation of Bentleys."

Hilton replaces Raul Pires who left Bentley at the end of 2011 to join the VW-owned Italian design house Italdesign.