Boom: Ford Hires Ex-Cadillac Designer To Head Lincoln Design

Looks like Ford may be finally getting serious about (the rather confused) Lincoln. Effective January 3, Max Wolff will become the dedicated Design director at the Blue Oval’s luxury arm, a move Lincoln sees as “an important step in its growth into a world-class luxury brand.”

Wolff, 38, comes to Lincoln with global automotive design experience. He has held various international assignments all over the world, from Australia to Asia and America; most recently, he worked at General Motors as the exterior design director of Cadillac. While at GM, Wolff held design positions in the U.S. with Cadillac, in Korea with GM Daewoo, and with Holden in Australia. It was at that last position that he was involved in the development of the 2002 Holden SSX show car.

Wolff contributed to the design of the 2002 Holden SSX Concept

At Lincoln, Wolff joins a team of internationally-weathered automotive professionals, including C.J. O’Donnell, Lincoln Group marketing manager, and Scott Tobin, Lincoln director of Product Development. All have lived and worked in Asia, Europe, and North America.

“Working with a young, motivated and internationally experienced team with the opportunity of taking a brand to the next level is very exciting, as is the opportunity to work with J Mays and Moray Callum,” said Wolff.

Reporting to Moray Callum, FOMOCO’s executive director of Design, The Americas, Wolff will “help the Lincoln team expand and enhance its brand lineup, which will include seven all-new or significantly refreshed vehicles in the next four years and its first-ever C-segment vehicle.”

“Hiring a Lincoln design director with global experience was a given,” said Derrick Kuzak, group vice president, Global Product Development, Ford Motor Company. “Max Wolff brings a fresh perspective that will challenge us internally and take Lincoln to new levels of prestige.”

The Motrolix Take

It looks like Ford may finally be a-brewin’ something big for Lincoln – it’s been hiring and/or re-appointing executives to the wannabe-luxury brand with near-habitual frequency over the past year.

Yet while seven “all-new or significantly refreshed vehicles” over the next four years sounds appealing, one thing’s for sure: Lincoln needs to figure out what it is – and do so fast… cuz that Smart Luxury marketing stuff ain’t gonna cut it.

PS: if the above doesn’t reassure the Lincoln fan/enthusiast in you, then how about the fact that Ford titled its press release announcing Wolff’s appointment as “COMMITMENT TO LINCOLN STRENGTHENS WITH ADDITION OF EXPERIENCED NEW DESIGN DIRECTOR”? Surely, then it must be committed to Lincoln!

Source: Ford | Image Credit:

Motrolix Founder with a passion for global automotive business strategy.

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