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Top Volvo designer Horbury switches to Geely

Key man: Peter Horbury will play a key role in reshaping Geely models and other brands in the Chinese car giant’s empire.

Volvo chief designer Peter Horbury relocates to Chinese parent Geely

3 Nov 2011

VOLVO Car Corporation vice-president of design Peter Horbury has relocated to parent company Zhejiang Geely Automobile Holdings to lead the styling of the Chinese manufacturer’s rapidly expanding model range.

The former Ford Motor Company North American design chief, who returned to Volvo in 2009 when it was still under Ford control and stayed with the Swedish brand when it was sold to Geely a year later, will take up the newly created position of senior vice-president of design for the Geely Group.

The move will see him oversee the design of all Geely models and sub-brands including Gleagle, Emgrand and Englon as the Chinese manufacturer embarks on a massive expansion program in its domestic market and pushes further into overseas markets, including Australia.

A replacement for Mr Horbury at Volvo Cars is still to be announced.

Geely Holding Group and Volvo Car Corporation chairman Li Shufu said: “I am delighted that Peter Horbury has accepted the offer to lead the design development of the Geely Group brands into the future.

 center imageLeft: Volvo Concept You and Concept universe.

“His vast experience in the industry will be key for the future success of Geely Group’s products.”

Volvo president and CEO Stefan Jacoby said Mr Horbury had played “a very important role for Volvo’s design during a long period of time and has a legendary position in the automotive world”.

Mr Horbury joined Volvo as head of design in 1991. A year later he became responsible for design for all brands in Ford’s Premier Automotive Group, which included Volvo, Jaguar, Land Rover and Aston Martin, and in 2004 moved to Detroit as executive director of design for Ford, in charge of all North American products.

He was replaced in that role in April 2009 by former Mazda chief designer Moray Callum when Ford restructured its global design team.

Mr Horbury returned to Volvo as vice-president of design and most recently has overseen the brand’s new design direction and foreshadowed the next S80 flagship with the Concept Universe – unveiled at the Shanghai motor show in April – and the follow-up Concept You shown in Frankfurt in September.

A consultant designer for Volvo between 1979 and 1986 – during which time he worked on interiors for models such as the 480, 440 and 460 – Mr Horbury is also credited with shaping a vast array of Volvo models including the 1995 S40/V40, followed by the S70/V70, S80, S60 and XC70.

Others include the original C70 and its folding hard-top successor, the C30, and the XC90.

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