… it’s full from the middle up. We’re talking of the 1986 Cadillac Sedan de Ville, naturally.
That’s what the photos show. However, more newsworthy is the announcement** that Joel P. is leaving his position as Ford’s European design chief to make way for Amko Leenarts, an RCA alumnus. Previously he oversaw Ford/Lincoln interiors at Dearborn. Joel P. goes back to Dearborn after a few short years to a newly created (read: not very powerful) position. That’s probably because he a)
invented no new slogans and b) oversaw the Vignale strategy and c) didn’t like Koelsch. If he had any direct influence on Ford’s EU products it will have been scant.
Leenarts has a tough brief: to design Fords that need to satisfy US and EU customers without requiring much local tuning. He has to
find a way to get Ford back into a design-leadership position after at least a decade of drift. The entire range, bar none, are characterless forms and Peugeot and Kia/Hyundai are strengthening their
styling capability while VW continues to produce distinctively VW products. Even Toyota is pulling out of its mire with some striking vehicles such as the CHR where Ford’s Kuga is anodyne in the extreme and Kia’s
Sorento/Hyundai’s Tucson offer/s products that come close to Audi levels of design thoroughness (I compared them recently side by side and found nothing on the Kiaundai that
would not pass muster on an Audi). Leenarts isn’t the only decision maker in
Merkenich but he should be sending photocopies of the “Opel sold to PSA” story to anyone there who thinks Ford can soldier on as it has done since 2006.
The de Ville deserves a bit more text, doesn’t it? I’d genuinely like one of these, especially now I have renounced fast driving. I’d say 25mpg is possible if you keep to 100 kmph.
** I only read that yesterday. Automotive News scooped DTW on this by a good ten days.