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Mitsubishi design boss Boulay chopped

Forefront of controversy: The front end of the Magna designed by Olivier Boulay (inset).

Designer of controversial Magna heads back to DaimlerChrysler

16 Jun 2004

OLIVIER Boulay, the designer responsible for the controversial styling of the TL/KL Mitsubishi Magna range, has been ‘retired’ from his job as the company’s global styling chief.

The move, effective June 29, is part of sweeping personnel changes initiated at the top end of the financially straitened company by new chief Yoichiro Okazaki.

Mr Boulay was brought in by former controlling shareholder DaimlerChrysler in mid-2001 to oversee Mitsubishi’s then fragmented design language and co-ordinated it into a twin nostril, big headlamp look.

Mr Boulay has plenty of ex-DaimlerChrysler mates at the exit gate with product planning chief Kai-Uwe Seidenfuss, head of procurement Stefan Buchner, Hans-Jurgen Storck from the R&D department and Jochen Legewie from the communications department, all getting their marching orders.

The TL/KL was among Mr Boulay’s first attempts at the new style and has received few positive reviews. The downturn in Magna sales has in part been blamed on the car’s styling.

Mr Boulay, 46, received better reviews for the adaptation of the Lancer to the new look, while the all-new Colt small car and Grandis people-mover also drew praise.

The former lead designer for the Mercedes S and C class cars, who also played a major role in the Maybach, he is now expected to return to Mercedes-Benz.

No replacement for Mr Boulay has been announced as yet.

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