Who's Where: Ken Ma joins Geely Automobile as Design DirectorMon, 08 Oct 2012 00:00:00 -0700
Ken Ma (Ma Zheng Kun) has joined Geely Automobile as Design Director. His role will be to assist the work of Geely Group Senior Vice Design President, Peter Horbury, in enhancing the Geely brand's design capacity.
Ma was formerly Vice President of Design for Changan, a position he held for a year before resigning. Prior to this he led the design of several SAIC vehicles under both the Roewe and MG brands.
Of his time at Changan Automobile, Ma said, "Changan automobile overly relied on their design centers in Turin, Italy and Japan, which directly caused the weakness of the local design team. We should recruit the design elites at home and abroad on the basis of the original design department, to set up a better, stronger local design team."
Ma's reform of Changan's design division – establishing an independent design system and the formation of a high standard local design team – met strong internal resistance and ultimately led to his departure.
Geely has also traditionally been highly dependant on external design supplier from South Korea and Taiwan, while its design department is also affiliated to the engineering department, rather than being completely independent. But Ma's experience and the support of Peter Horbury may well prove to be a fruitful partnership.
By Xie Guoqing and Bai Jianan