The Ford designers recently met with reporters at the automaker's Product Development Center. There they discussed what they felt were Ford's design directions for the future. Ford's press release follows.


By Chris Kassab

<a class=2006 Mercury Milan" src="" align="right" border="1" height="130" hspace="4" vspace="4" width="200" />With the North American International Auto Show just a few weeks away, the company's top designers gave the media a sneak peek at the strategies that will drive Ford vehicles into the future at a Design Forum held Wednesday at the Product Development Center. Although the wraps don't come off concept and production vehicles until January, designers shared insights they consider when designing vehicles. [More after the jump.]

According to Martin Smith, Ford of Europe?s executive design director, Europeans want dynamism, emotion and refinement reflected in their vehicles.

?They like very expressive design and a vehicle that looks like it?s moving when it?s standing still,? said Smith. ?They want a gorgeous-looking car, but they want something that is recognizably modern, contemporary and fashionable.?

Smith coined the term ?kinetic design? to describe the new expressive design DNA for Ford of Europe. ? ?Kinetic? expresses everything we want to talk about through design ? energy, movement, the notion of visual movement while the vehicle is standing still,? he said, pointing to the Iosis and SAV concepts as strong examples of that.

According to Peter Horbury, executive director, North American Design, customers in the Americas and Canada see the world ? and their vehicles ? differently. ?Kinetic design DNA doesn?t mean the same thing to buyers in this market, so it won?t resonate the same way,? Horbury said.

<a class=2006 Ford Fusion" src="" align="left" border="1" height="205" hspace="4" vspace="4" width="250" />According to Horbury, while America is a virtual melting pot of diverse cultures and values, Americans share a universal optimism about life. They don?t tend to be ?quiet.? Their gestures are overt, and their actions are purposeful.

?When you translate those feelings, those values into sheet metal, you create bold, constructed designs,? he said.

Horbury feels Ford?s North American design strategy for the future is reflected in the newest entries to the Ford, Lincoln and Mercury lineups: Fusion, Zephyr and Milan.

[Source Ford]

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