Ford’s global design director Chris Svensson has died aged 53 after losing a battle with cancer.
We’re sad to report that Chris Svensson, Ford’s global design director who influenced the design of the new Ford GT, has died at the age of 53 after losing his battle with cancer in Detroit. His legacy during his 26-year long career at Ford will be long remembered, as Svensson helped shape the designs of some of the Blue Oval company’s most popular models.
“We are sad to learn of the passing of Ford Design director Chris Svensson. Chris was a talented designer, an inspiring leader and a friend to many people,” Ford said in a statement. “He made countless contributions to Ford during his 26-year career and he will be greatly missed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family.”
Fresh out of college, Svensson joined Ford Germany in 1992 as an exterior designer, where he famously penned the design for the quirky-looking Ford Ka city car as well as the Puma and Cougar, the latter of which was renamed the Mercury Cougar in the US.
He also worked on Europe’s first-generation Focus and Mondeo during his stint with Ford in Germany, and designed several concept cars such as the Visios, Mercury MC2 and P200 Hydrogen. He then moved back to his UK home country to oversee the development of the Ford Fiesta and Fusion.
Svensson was even the chief designer of the forgotten pink Ford FAB 1 that featured in the 2004 Thunderbirds movie, and also oversaw the design of the Taurus, Mustang and the Falcon.
However, he will be best remembered for helping shape the new Ford GT as part of a top-secret design team. The car was designed in complete secrecy in a basement at Ford’s design center in Dearborn. It was so secret that some top Ford executives didn’t even see the car until its surprise debut as a concept at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show. He also took delivery of his own Ford GT in April. More recently, he worked as head of design for Ford’s SUVs, trucks, and commercial vehicles.