Volvo has chosen former Volkswagen designer Thomas Ingenlath to replace Peter Horbury as the head of the Swedish brand's design department, the latter having moved up the ladder to oversee design work at Volvo's corporate parent, Geely. Ingenlath was with the VW Group for 20 years and did stints with Audi, Skoda and Volkswagen, leading work on concepts and production cars like the VW Nils Concept, the Bluesport Roadster and first-generation Skoda Fabia and Superb.

After a couple of years trying to decide where it wanted to be – or at least, how it wanted to be described – on the luxury spectrum everyone seems to be on message now. Volvo will be looking for Ingenlath to continue its progress toward being a "top-tier luxury brand," in the words of CEO Stefan Jacoby, and "a truly luxury automotive brand" in the words of Geely CEO Li Shufu. Check out the official press release below for more details.
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Volvo Car Corporation appoints Thomas Ingenlath as new head of Design

Thomas Ingenlath, 48, has been appointed Vice President Design at Volvo Car Corporation, arriving from a position as head of the Volkswagen Design Center in Potsdam, Germany.

Thomas Ingenlath will assume the position as Vice President Design, Volvo Car Corporation, on July 1, 2012, succeeding Peter Horbury, who is now Senior Vice President Design, Geely Group.

"I am very happy that Thomas Ingenlath has accepted the offer to be responsible for Volvo's design. He is one of the most exciting automotive designers today and will play a central role in Volvo's development towards becoming a top tier luxury auto brand", says Stefan Jacoby, President and CEO, Volvo Car Corporation.

Thomas Ingenlath has 20 years experience from the automotive industry, after completion of design studies at the Fachhochschule für Gestaltung in Pforzheim and the Royal College of Art in London. He has since worked in top design positions at Audi (1991-1994), Volkswagen (1995-2000) and Skoda (2000-2006). As from 2006 he has been the Director for Design at the Volkswagen Design Center in Potsdam, designing for all brands of the Volkswagen Group.

"I feel very honored to join Volvo - a brand which I have great admiration for. The company is heading for a new era and I am looking forward to be part of that development. It will be a great challenge to define Volvo's future design direction," says Thomas Ingenlath.

Li Shufu, Chairman of Geely Holding Group and Volvo Car Corporation, comments: "The recruitment of Thomas Ingenlath to head Volvo's Design department is another important step in the development of Volvo Car Corporation to become a truly luxury automotive brand." Thomas Ingenlath's solid experience in automotive design will be a valuable contribution towards the Volvo design of the future."


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  • 18 Comments
      pickles
      • 3 Years Ago
      Hornbury = genius. Gorgeous simple designs that screamed 'brand' yet whispered quality, timelessness. It's a rare balance. Volvo needs guts and grace. Best of luck.
      Lachmund
      • 3 Years Ago
      looks like german designers take over the world
        ZOZ
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Lachmund
        May be more German companies are needed to hire all of 'em!
      4540flossy
      • 3 Years Ago
      The words "VW" and "stylist" in the same sentence... Uh oh!
      Matrix
      • 3 Years Ago
      A german designer might be a good choice for volvo. Look at Kia, they have a German designer now, Ex Audi designer and now their cars look incredible compared to their old korean designed cars.
      • 3 Years Ago
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        Pdexter
        • 3 Years Ago
        Imo XC60 is the beat looking SUV there is at the moment. Though what they should domis update t XC90 and S80 fast. Starting to look really old.
      design eye
      • 3 Years Ago
      He's a very good designer and a nice guy too! Good luck to both Thomas and Peter.
      mikelee
      • 3 Years Ago
      I disagree that Hornbury's designs 'screamed...brand' but rather, BLAND. If he brings to Volvo the same level of 'style' that he displayed at VW, then Volvo cars will become as ho-hum looking as Volkswagens.
      • 3 Years Ago
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      thedriveatfive
      • 3 Years Ago
      omg he is perfect for volvo. I dub thee sir milk toast.
      peteMT
      • 3 Years Ago
      As long as the guys in VW QC don't follow him over there, I don't see the harm. Volvo will be reworked for the Chinese market anyway, and for the rich, that's where the money is.
      TimATL
      • 3 Years Ago
      Hopefully there's time for him to reverse direction on the hideous design language we've seen out of Volvo's last two concept cars: Concept You and Concept Universe.
        Pdexter
        • 3 Years Ago
        @TimATL
        They have been very, very Chinese looking. There where some reports that even more factories are moving to China for Volvo, granted Volvo's sales have also increased so more production is needed. Yet i have a feeling the cars will be moving more and more to please the Chinese customers, rather than North Europeans.
          M
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Pdexter
          I have a feeling you're right. I'm Swedish and I don't like what I'm seeing. Too bad. A lot of Swedish companies are being bought up by foreign companies these days. Unfortunately we have a very liberal (right-wing) goverment (I know in the US the liberals are left-wing) that likes that sort of thing. Hopefully it'll change.
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