Ford’s global design director for trucks, SUVs and commercial vehicles, Chris Svensson, has reportedly succumbed to cancer at the age of 53.
Svensson, who was previously in charge of Ford design for North and South America, was responsible for the development of the groundbreaking Ford GT supercar that also spawned a Le Mans-winning racing car, both featuring a dramatic ‘negative space’ through the rear half of the car to reduce drag.
However, his first professional project after studying at Coventry and RCA was the much humbler Ka, based on his thesis project and taken through to reality via Ford’s Cologne design centre. From that point on, he never left Ford, rising through the ranks and working for them all over the globe.
“I was a young kid that was very good at art. It ran through the blood of my family. My father was a good artist and my grandfather a sign writer, so I was probably an artist first and a car guy second,” he told us in an interview back in 2015. “I love being able to talk to my production development boss or my marketing lead and have a conversation about a '65 Shelby or a vintage Porsche because those guys ‘get it’ and are passionate about it.”
“As a car nut myself, it’s great to know that this runs through every vein of the company.”
We send our sincere condolences to Svensson’s wife and two daughters at this difficult time.