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The field of car design has been about as stable as an active volcano lately, with several major automakers replacing their design chiefs in quick succession. Over the past couple of weeks, Volvo's styling guru Steve Mattin quit, and he was replaced by Ford designer Peter Horbury, whose post in turn was taken up by Moray Callum. Before that, Volkswagen designer Derek Jenkins defected to Mazda, while Mazda's chief designer Laurens van der Acker was replaced by Ikuo Maeda. But in advance of all th

Following hot on the heels of reports that Volkswagen designer Derek Jenkins had defected to Mazda to head up its North American design office comes news that the Japanese automaker has replaced its global design chief, Laurens van der Acker, with Ikuo Maeda.

Over the last three decades, there's been a common thread making Mercedes designs instantly recognizable and a lot of credit for that belongs to MBZ design boss Peter Pfeiffer. After forty years at Mercedes-Benz, and thirty years overseeing design, Pfeiffer is headed for retirement within the next 12 months. It was under Pfeiffer's pen that Mercedes turned out some of its most important cars. Vehicles like the 190, the W126 S-Class, original E-Class, and more recent work like the R, M, and G-cla

Mazda has a new styling chief. Dutchman Laurens Van den Acker will be putting the rather cumbersome appliqué "General Manager of the Design Division of Mazda Motor Corporation" on his office door, replacing Moray Callum (design head since 2001) who has been appointed to Ford's automotive design director post.

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