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Michelin Challenge Design

January 6, 2012


DETROIT, Mich., (Jan. 6, 2012) – Michelin Challenge Design has been honored with strong support from the automotive design community, including the distinguished designers who participated in judging the 2012 City 2046: Art, Life and Ingenuity theme.

This year's Michelin Challenge Design jury, in alphabetical order, includes:

Benjamin began his professional career in 1999 at Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design of North America after earning a BFA in Automotive Design from the College for Creative Studies.

After spending two years in Southern California, Chris was asked to join the Design team in Germany. He then spent the next 4.5 years in Germany working on almost every car in the Mercedes-Benz range. He was personally responsible for the interior of the GST Concepts shown in 2002 and 2004. He was also the designer of the 2006 GLK interior, and did much of the initial work on what became the Ocean Drive Concept in 2006.

Following a successful career at Mercedes-Benz, Chris spent a short time at BMW DesignworksUSA, which he joined as a Lead Designer. At Designworks he worked on interior projects for BMW, but mostly on projects for companies like Kenworth, John Deere, and Boeing.

In March of 2007, Chris became a designer at Volvo Monitoring and Concept Center in Camarillo, CA. After only a few short months, he moved to Gothenburg, Sweden for an exterior design that was chosen for production; a model that will be launched in 2012.

In October of 2010 Chris became the Design Director of Volvo's concept center in California. Chris was also honored as one of Automotive News Europe's 2011 Rising Stars. The award was given to automotive executives who are in middle and upper management that are most likely to become the top leaders of tomorrow.

Chapman was the Director of Automotive Design, BMW Group DesignworksUSA, at the time of his participation on the 2012 Michelin Challenge Design jury. In December 2011, he joined the Hyundai America Technical Center Inc as the Chief Designer, Hyundai Design Center. Chapman will be responsible for new vehicle and concept car design.

Chapman graduated from Art Center College of Design in 1989 and then spent four years working at the Isuzu Technical Center of America where he designed the exterior of the gull-winged XU-1 concept vehicle. He moved on to BMW DeisgnworksUSA where he designed E87/E81 1 series hatchback, E53, X5, X-coupe concept and the CS1 Concept.

Chapman is credited for the flame surfacing idea in the car body design. The body of the car should reflect light in many different ways like a flame - an idea which originated from the BMW brainstorm designers group called Deep Blue Project in 1996 (the Deep Blue name has been given later to the BMW designed boat).

LeQuement retired as Renault's Senior Vice President Corporate Design and Design consultant for Nissan Motors at board level.

His first job was as an automobile designer with Simca, where he only remained for one year, harboring, in fact, a burning desire to try his hand as a freelance. The company he founded in partnership with fellow designer, John Pinko, "Style International", did not survive the deep economic depression arriving in the wake of the Events of May 68. He returned to auto design, with Ford, a company that would be home for 17 years, working by turns in the UK, Germany, North America, Brazil, Australia and Japan.

In 1969, whilst working as senior designer, Uwe Bahnsen, Design Director for Ford Europe, suggested he follow a two-year post graduate course in Business Administration at Danbury Management Centre, University of Essex.

In 1969, whilst working as manager UK in charge of commercial and external auto design, he drew his first ever plaudits from the Design community for his work on the Cargo truck. Then, out of a range of projects over which he had responsibility, the Ford Sierra in Germany in 1979 emerged as a major commercial success and represented a landmark in the history of auto design.

In June 1985, he set off for the United States, the task being to prepare him to step into the shoes of Uwe Bahnsen. The working conditions he encountered there fell short of what had been agreed and he resigned, in order to retrace his steps to Europe, where Carl Hahn, chairman of the Volkswagen-Audi Group, invited him to set up a Centre for Advanced Design and Strategy.

During the course of 1987, an even more attractive proposition came his way: to take charge of Renault's style department, with carte blanche from Raymond H. Lévy, the company's Chairman and CEO, to effect any changes he saw fit in order to turn the design function into a strategic corporate tool.

Thus, in January 1988, under his drive and vision, appeared and moved forward the department of Renault Corporate Design, replacing the former Renault Style function; amongst other production models, we saw emerge the Twingo (1993), the Scenic (1996), the Espace models of 1994 and 1998, and the Kangoo (1998). At the same time, we witnessed the arrival of more than a dozen concept cars, spearheading Renault's campaign to build the image of innovation and quality it enjoys today.

As 1994 drew to a close, Patrick le Quément was appointed to also take charge of Quality, in addition to his Corporate Design responsibilities.

At the start of 1999, in the wake of the signing of the deal with Nissan Motors, Louis Schweitzer, Chairman and CEO of Renault, asked him to focus his energies once more exclusively on Design, both within Renault and Nissan, the latter having to be rendered more creative in as short a time frame as possible.

Patrick le Quément has received numerous awards, including the French Grand Prix National for Industrial Design in 1992, the award of Doctor of the University of Central England in 1996 and Knight of the "Ordre National" of the French Legion of Honor in 1998.

He is also chairman of the board of trustees of the Ecole Nationale Supérieure of Industrial Design in Paris.

Since retirement from Volvo Monitoring & Concept Center in fall 2010, Loczi created his own company and continues to work in the design field and with individual clients. Loczi also teaches Automotive Design, with sponsored projects, at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California.

Before entering the automotive industry, Loczi studied his craft at the Art Center College of Design. In 1980, Loczi joined Volkswagen as Design Manager, Michigan Studio. This was the beginning of his international experience. Following Volkswagen, Loczi established his own consulting design company, Loczi Design. In 1983, Loczi worked as a consultant to Volvo through Designworks, Chuck Pelly Design, an international design office in California. Loczi then moved to Sweden, with his family, to work with Volvo. Loczi moved back to California with Volvo's consultants, Designworks, in 1985. In 1986, when Volvo set up their own studio in California, he was appointed Chief Designer, Volvo Monitoring and Concept Centre. Since 1986 Loczi has contributed to products such as the Environmental Concept Car (ECC), P2 cars in production today (S80, V70 and S60), and recently, the Safety Concept Car (SCC) shown recently at the Detroit Motor Show. As Director of Design, Loczi continues to sketch and develop designs through Alias on the computer.

Marek grew up in Northern California around custom and rod guys like Don Tognotti and Dick Bertilucci, both who worked with Sam and George Barris before they moved south. He used to love going to Obexers Market in Tahoe to get the latest Tom Daniel creation but had a "problem"-- he could never just build them straight out of the box! He always was doing something crazy to them. Marek graduated with honors from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA in 1987 where he earned a BS degree in Industrial Design. He has been an instructor at the college since 1989 and has been instrumental in bringing numerous sponsored projects to the Transportation Department. Marek also serves on the Art Center Alumni Council. Today, he makes his living as the Chief Designer and Senior Manager of the Automotive Styling Group at Honda Research and Development--Americas. He's been with Honda since 1987--during which time he has been involved in numerous projects. Marek has served as Project leader for such projects as the 1994 Accord Wagon and the 1997 Acura CL. He uses his free time to create Automotive Fine Art and graphics for C.A.R.T. championship cars including the Honda team graphics. Examples of Dave's work can be found in various enthusiast magazines including, Road & Track, Racer, Street Rodder and Car Graphic.

Reed graduated from the Art Center College of Design with honors in 1969 and elected to join Bruce Meyers, originator of the dune buggy off-road vehicles. With Meyers Manx, Reed designed and developed the "Manx SR", considered one of the best-executed, road-worthy kit vehicles. Reed's design career includes nine years at Chrysler's advanced design department; six years as the chief designer of Toyota's California advanced design studio; and eight years as vice president of design with Prince Corporation, now part of Johnson Controls. In 1994 he established Stewart Reed Design to consult to the manufacturing industry in both automotive and consumer products. Reed introduced the Gear Box concept vehicle at 1998 North American International Auto Show. Also, in 1998 Robert Lutz undertook the reintroduction of Cunningham Motor Corporation with Briggs Cunningham. The Reed-designed Cunningham C7, was unveiled at the 2001 North American International Auto Show, where Reed's experience and support for the exhibit design and fabrication were instrumental. In 2005, Reed returned to his alma mater by accepted the position of chairman of the transportation design department at Art Center College of Design.

Born and raised in Japan and graduated from Koto City Art University in Japan. After graduation, Mr. Shikado joined Toyota design in Toyota City, Japan, and studied at Art Center College of Design as a sponsored Toyota student in 1985-86. In spring 1995, he moved and joined Chrysler design, where he worked on the 1998 Chrysler Chronos, 1999 Chrysler Citadel and 2000 Dodge Viper GTS-R concept cars and the second-generation production Dodge Viper RT/10. In summer 2004, he joined Hyundai Design North America in California, managing the 2008 Genesis coupe, 2010 Tucson, 2010 Sonata, 2011 Elantra and 2012 Accent—and a few more coming soon. Mr, Shikado's personal goal is to fill the road with beautiful cars.

Wardle is a Car Designer and Educator, Art Center College, Pasadena, CA with a bachelor's degree in Vehicle and Mechanical Engineering and a master's degree in Automotive Design from London's Royal College of Art, Geoff Wardle has spent over 23 years as a professional designer and a design educator. Geoff has held both corporate and consultancy positions with various major European and multi-national automotive companies in developed and developing economies across four continents. Companies he worked with included British Leyland, Chrysler, PSA, International Automotive Design (IAD), SAAB Automobile, Ford Australia and Tatra of the Czech Republic. Over the last nine years he has also been involved in design education at Art Center College of Design's late European Swiss campus where he was Chair of Transportation Design and then as Corporate Relations Director and Transportation Design faculty at Art Center's Pasadena campus. Even before becoming involved with design education, Wardle became increasingly concerned about over dependence on the use of automobiles - even though he remains passionate about them as products. He believes that designers should play a major role in future by facilitating the interaction of many disciplines to create smarter and more fulfilling ways of living that are not so mobility dependent. He sees fascinating correlations between our future mobility and emerging complex adaptive systems.

Watanabe is responsible for overseeing the design projects assigned to NDA in support of Nissan globally and in the Americas region.  He assumed the current position in April 2011.

Seiji joined Nissan in 1987 after graduating from Tsukuba University with a bachelor's degree in industrial design.  During his Nissan career, he has worked on products such as Nissan Skyline (R34) and the previous generation of Infiniti G sedan and coupe.  Most recently, as a Produce Chief Designer (PCD), he was in charge of the design development of the current Nissan Cube, Juke and Infiniti EX.

About Michelin Challenge Design
Michelin Challenge Design ( was launched in 2001 as a way to showcase creativity and innovation in vehicle design on a global scale around a central theme. Each year, Michelin invites designers around the world, from individuals to small and large companies, to create and display significant design work that would normally not have an opportunity to be shown at a major auto show.

About Michelin
Dedicated to the improvement of sustainable mobility, Michelin ( designs, manufactures and sells tires for every type of vehicle, including airplanes, automobiles, bicycles, earthmovers, farm equipment, heavy duty trucks, motorcycles and the space shuttle. The company also publishes travel guides, maps and atlases covering Europe, Asia, Africa and North America. Headquartered in Greenville, S.C., Michelin North America employs approximately 20,900 and operates 18 major manufacturing plants in 16 locations.


For more information, visit or contact:

Lynne Fowler
Michelin North America, Inc.
Office: 1 864 458 6365
Cell: 1 864 561 9914

Stephanie Brinley
EMC Strategic Communications
Office: 1-248-816-0108
Cell: 1-248-703-8172


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