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J Mays, head of design at Ford, may be retiring from the company after 16 years, but not before showing the world his swan song: the 2015 Mustang. Ford officially revealed its new coupe and convertible to the public at events around the world on Thursday, including a live unveiling on ABC's Good Morning America, and Mays was in attendance at the automaker's home event in Dearborn, MI, which is where we caught up with him for a few words about his new baby.

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More Than Just Retrofuturism

Mays is by far not the first designer to use heritage design cues in his work.

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Ford's highly influential head of design, J Mays, has announced that he'll be retiring from his position after 33 years in the industry, 16 of which were at the Dearborn, MI-based company. Upon departure, he'll be succeeded as group vice president of design by Moray Callum. If that last name sounds familiar, yes, he's the brother of Jaguar's Ian Callum.

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Lincoln is "not true luxury," according to Ford's design boss, J Mays. His statements come from a story in The Detroit News that saw candid language on the issues facing Ford's troubled premium brand. Notably, there's a need for a strong character, with Mays saying, "Every brand needs to have a DNA and a unique selling point and things in the vehicle that make you think, 'That's that particular brand.'"

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California really is the Golden State for the Blue Oval. For proof, look to the words of one J Mays, Ford's vice president of global design, who told Inhabitat that hybrid sales are far better than the company expected out west. "Our hybrids are flying off the shelves in California," he said, adding that the US hybrid market as a whole is "growing slowly but steadily."

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Lincoln showed off its new design center Thursday, the first dedicated studio for the luxury brand since the 1970s.

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It's hard to think back now, but the same man overseeing the design of the 2013 Ford Fusion also presided over a rather lackluster period in Ford design, highlighted by vehicles like the Five Hundred and Freestyle. With the redesigned Fusion receiving high praise, J Mays tells Automotive News that he feels vindicated from criticisms suggesting he's not a daring enough designer.

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Ford design chief J Mays tells Automotive News that the controversial grille design that debuted on the 2013 Lincoln MKZ at the New York Auto Show won't necessarily be pasted onto the front of every Lincoln model. Mays means something quite specific, though: the perimeter of the grille and headlight form will remain, but the "grille texture" – the horizontal lines on the MKZ – could be reworked on other models.

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We're not all that hopeful that the next generation Ford EcoSport will make its way to North America, but global markets ranging from Brazil to India should soon get their hands on a production version of this comely B-segment crossover.

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We're not all that hopeful that the next generation Ford EcoSport will make its way to North America, but global markets ranging from Brazil to India should soon get their hands on a production version of this comely B-segment crossover.

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Designer J Mays on Ford's future styling direction – click above to watch the video

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2010 Ford Start concept – click above for high-res image gallery

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Click above for high-res image gallery of the Lincoln Concept C

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It's been no secret that part of Ford's turnaround plan (or we calling it Bold Moves anymore?) is to reunite its North American and European operations with more platform sharing and a common design language. With product life cycles being as long as they are in this industry, none of that will happen overnight. In fact, J Mays, Ford's group vice president of design and chief creative officer, told Automotive News that a single uniting global design language for both sides of the pond will be re

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Rather than have disparate design wings flung across the globe, all speaking in a different tongue, Ford's tasking J Mays with teaching everyone the design equivalent of Esperanto. The new, unified, global design language will replace the "Kinetic Design" that Ford of Europe employs, as well as superseding the "Bold American" motif we get here in the United States. We're not likely to see the Edge pick up any Mondeo themes any time soon, but Mays is looking forward about six years to see the con

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One of the criteria that doesn't make Ford's new Flex a minivan is its lack of sliding rear doors. Instead, the production version of the Flex gets traditional swing doors, unlike its concept inspiration, the Fairlane, which allowed rear passengers to enter via a set of suicide doors.

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Not long after we told you about the likely promotion of Derrick Kuzak to the role of global Car Czar, President and CEO of Ford Alan Mulally officially announced his corporate realignment plan. At the top of the pyramid is, of course, Mulally himself. Reporting to him are the leaders of Ford's three largest units: Mark Fields, Ford of the Americas; Lewis Booth, Ford of Europe and the Premier Auto Group (PAG); and John Parker, Ford of Asia Pacific, Africa and Mazda. Supporting this team will be

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In an interview with Ward's Auto, Ford's chief creative officer (CCO?) and VP of design, J Mays explains that the similarities between the concept and the production versions of the Fairlane are profound. So much so, that some employees at FoMoCo can't tell the difference between the two.

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Ford Motor Company and news source AutoWeek are sponsoring an advanced screening of the upcoming Disney and Pixar movie, Cars. The charity event, which will be held in Detroit, Michigan on June 4, will consist of two private viewings before the movie's public release on June 9. Tickets are $150 each with the proceeds donated to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Says J Mays, Ford vice president of design, "It's only fitting that Ford helps bring this movie classic home to the community t

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