The Fusion debuting in Detroit at NAIAS 2012 was evidence of Ford’s commitment to the ‘One Ford‘ plan. This global product strategy involves minimizing the variation of products offered around the world by Ford Motor Company at the same time as unifying the overall brand identity throughout these markets.
Director of Exterior Design for the Americas at Ford, Joel Piaskowski takes two minutes to to speak about his time in the automotive world and Ford’s new product approach.
Can you tell us a bit about where you’re from and how you arrived at Ford?
I grew up in the southeast Michigan area here and went to school at College of Creative Studies, graduating in 1990.
I have worked in four design studios through my 21 years in the industry: GM, Hyundai, Mercedes, and now here at Ford starting in October 2010.
The Fusion was pretty much wrapped up by the time I joined the organization.
There were still some details and refinement to those details that I was involved with. But the product was developed within the two years prior to my arrival.
It started development in Europe and migrated to Dearborn for design completion. Most of what I’m working on… we’re still working in the future that you won’t see for another couple years yet.
What is your primary influence when you look toward developing products?
Primarily I consider social impact. I look around at world markets and consider what the future of mobility really is. There are many possibilites when looking at developing markets.
With One Ford, there are vehicles that sell on a global scale that will contain a consistent thread of design DNA, if you will. There are also some specific vehicles that are relevant to local markets, for example: an F-150.
We’re not going to put the face of Fusion on an F-150. So, there are some vehicles that have a precedent to having their own design language or character relative to the market place.
Having said that, there’s still going to be some visual links that will let you know that it is a Ford product.
Does this go hand-in-hand with economies of scale even if cars are produced at multiple factories?
Absolutely, along with a consistent image… All OEMs are using platform sharing to leverage economies of scale.
We build Fiesta, Focus, Fusion, and Mondeo at many different plants globally, but the same quality of vehicles are coming out of those different global plants.
Thank very much for your time, very much appreciated!
Absolutely, thank you.