European designer tasked to build team and style for China’s Geely image

Peter Horbury, a designer that has previously worked with Volvo and Ford is now facing an interesting and difficult challenge: to create a styling team and a design language for China’s Geely.

Horbury has been faced with difficult tasks before – he was able to revive the understated allure of Swedish style in Volvo cars during the 1990s and then had the near impossible goal of reviving the comatose Ford design in North America during the last decade.

Geely took him in 2011 after the acclaimed designer returned to Volvo after a very successful and much-praised Ford run as North American styling boss. The challenge is even more difficult in China though – Geely needs to be elevated from the ground up to a level that would make the brand interesting to overseas customers – even those from the US.

“Eighteen months ago there were six of us, and this week we hired our 100th person in our Gothenburg studio,” says Horbury about Zhejiang Geely’s design team. “We have about 90 in a brand new studio in Shanghai, about six in Barcelona and five in California. So it’s start all over. I’m 65 in January. I run the show, but I’ve hired a brilliant team.”

The design boss says the International studios are necessary as the automaker plans to bring Geely cars to US, Europe and other foreign markets. For that, the design and development units are busy working on new cars that share Volvo’s co developed new compact modular architecture.

Via Automotive News Europe