The Japanese automaker has announced that Kevin Rice joins as creative director its European design team. After October 1st, the 49-year-old will head the European creative design process and will focus on developing the company’s new “Kodo – Soul of Motion” design language.
The move sees Rice’s return to Mazda’s European R&D Centre in Oberursel, Germany. As a senior designer from 1995 to 2000, he penned many proposals for future Mazda cars including the RX-8 and lead the development of the ‘Neospace’ show car, exhibited at the 1999 Frankfurt Motor Show. Rice departed and spent 13 years at BMW, where he was responsible for the exterior development of many models including the new 3 and 4 series.
“We’re really excited to have Kevin back. He’s no stranger to Mazda, and his experience at BMW adds an extra dimension that will transfer very well to our European design activities,” says Peter Birtwhistle, Chief Designer at Mazda Research Europe. “He’s certainly the kind of talent we need to lead Mazda successfully into the future.”
“I’m delighted to be here as part of a family guided by a convention-defying approach to designing and building cars that people crave to own,” remarked Rice. “I’ve made it my personal challenge to reinforce the competitive edge of our KODO-inspired models and build upon the Mazda brand’s positive momentum.”
Rice, a British national, studied Transportation Design at Coventry University and before joining Mazda in 1995, augmented his skills at Italdesign in Italy and Opel in Germany.