San Carlos, California – Franz von Holzhausen, former Director of Design for Mazda North America, has joined electric sports car company Tesla Motors as Chief Designer. Von Holzenhausen’s duties include driving the company’s design direction in the short term, and building a world-class design competency in the long-term.
“Tesla is about stunning design, combined with breakthrough technology and fantastic service,” said Elon Musk, Chairman and Product Architect of Tesla. “Those three in combination are what will make us a great company. Franz is joining Tesla with the mission to build the world’s leading automotive design studio.”
Von Holzhausen led the design and development of concept and production cars for Mazda North America, including the Nagare and Furai concept cars. Previously, he served as design manager for General Motors, where he worked on the concept and production design of the Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky, among other projects. He is the third recent addition of auto industry veterans to the Tesla Motors management team, following Mike Donoughe, a former vice-president of engineering at Chrysler LLC, and Deepak Ahuja, former Ford finance executive, who joined Tesla as Chief Financial Officer.