2009: Jury

Ask Michelin Challenge Design™ (MCD) participants their top reasons for entering the global design competition and the majority will include the opportunity to have their work selected by a jury comprised of the world’s leading industrial and transportation designers and educators.

For the 2009 program, Michelin assembled eight luminaries from the international design community to review a collection of more than 200 vehicle designs submitted by individuals, companies and students from 48 countries.  Together they narrowed the field down to 35 works – a mix of full-size vehicles, scale models and computer-generated renderings – for what is the most popular reason given for entering MCD:  prominent exhibition at the 2009 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS).

Each entry submitted is reviewed for its uniqueness, emotional appeal, design courage and technical execution in support of a central theme:  “BRAVE+BOLD – America’s Next Iconic Vehicle.”


Summit Conference
Front Left to Right: Geza Loczi, Chuck Jordan, Frank Saucedo
Back Left to Right: Freeman Thomas, Geoff Wardle, David Marek,
Ezekiel Cole Wheeler, Stewart Reed

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

Chuck Jordan –
Retired, Vice President of Design, General Motors.

As only the fourth man in 78 years to run General Motors’ massive design studio, Chuck Jordan is a legend. Bill Mitchell shared his desk once. So did Harley Earl. “It was an awesome responsibility,” Jordan said. And it seemed to be one he was destined for from the time a six-year-old boy from Whittier, Calif., began sketching cars at his bedside table.

By the time he had graduated from high school with honors, enrolled at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in engineering and design, he was already thinking ahead. In his sophomore year at MIT, Jordan, with the encouragement of an understanding and patient mother, entered the GM Fisher Body Craftsman’s Guild model-car competition. He won. That led to a $4,000 scholarship — not small change in the late 1940s — and the attention of Earl, GM’s legendary design guru.

By 1949, at 22, Jordan had a job as a junior designer with GM where he remade the automaker’s truck designs. He was interesting, charismatic and a little quirky, which was good for a designer in the 1950s when things were changing quickly in car world. Within four years, Earl appointed him chief designer of GM’s special product studio and four years after that he was named chief designer for Cadillac. He was 30. “I never tried to do what Harley Earl wanted. I tried to do what I thought was right,” he said. What wasn’t to like?

In the 1950s he helped pen the first-ever concept for a minivan as well as the 1959 Cadillac Eldorado. In 1962, with the idea for the Opel GT already brewing in his head and on the occasional sketch pad, Jordan was named to Life magazine’s “100 most important young men and women in the United States.” But he was bound for Europe where Jordan worked in Opel’s design studios and created the GT, a two-seat sports car that would sell more units in North America than in Europe.

After three years in Germany as design director for Opel, he returned to the United States in the late 1960s and served as the Number Two man in the organization until 1986 when he took the top spot as vice president of design until mandatory retirement in 1992.

As the top GM designer, he influenced the Camaro/Firebird, the 1992 Cadillac STS and Eldorado and Oldsmobile Aurora. It was 43 years at GM with an unmistakable impression. “It’s the best life you can have. Does anything really beat it?”

Geza Loczi –
Director of Design at the Volvo Monitoring Concept Center.

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.

David W. Marek –
Chief Designer & Sr. Manager, Automotive Styling Group, Honda R&D-Americas.

Dave 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.

Dave 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. Dave also serves on the Art Center Alumni Council.

Today, Dave 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. He has served as Project leader for such projects as the 1994 Accord Wagon and the 1997 Acura CL.

Dave 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.

Stewart Reed –
Michelin Challenge Design Jury Chairman – for the third consecutive year –
is Chairman of the Transportation Design Department at the Art Center College of Design. 

Stewart Reed Design in Holland, Mich., opened its doors in 1994 to consult with the automotive and consumer manufacturing industries. First among his many designs were the Meyers Manx and Manx SR.  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.

Frank Saucedo –
Director of Advanced Design at General Motors in Los Angeles –

Oversees a staff of 30 designers, sculptors, analysts and engineers.  He joined GM in 1984 as a designer with the company’s European subsidiary Adam Opel AG.  He returned to the States and served in the capacity of Assistant and eventually Chief of Design in the company’s Advanced Concepts Center.

After a brief tenure at the helm of Volkswagen’s Simi Valley, Calif., design center, he returned to GM in 2002 to lead the L.A.-based team.  Since opening, the studio has spearheaded the development of several noteworthy projects, including the Chevrolet Borrego, Chevrolet SS concept and Pontiac Solstice.

Freeman Thomas –
Strategic Design Director, Ford Motor Company –

Leads the advanced design teams in California and Michigan.  In addition to developing product design strategies and concept vehicles for Ford, Lincoln and Mercury, his team collaborates with the company’s Advanced Product Creation team to create compelling new production vehicles.  Before Ford, Thomas was head of DaimlerChrysler’s Pacifica Advanced Design Center.

He also served as vice president of DaimlerChrysler Advanced Product Design Strategy, chief designer at Volkswagen and in design positions with Audi and Porsche.  His design career includes the 500-hp Dodge Tomahawk motorcycle, the “Noble American Sedan” strategy that evolved into the production Chrysler 300C, the Audi TT concept and the Volkswagen Concept 1, known today as the New Beetle.

Geoff Wardle –
Director of Mobility, Industrial Design, Art Center College of Design –

Has spent over 20 years as a professional designer and design educator. Companies he’s worked with include British Leyland, Chrysler, PSA, International Automotive Design (IAD), SAAB Automobile, Ford Australia and Tatra of the Czech Republic. He was Chair of Transportation Design at the Art Center College of Design’s campus in Switzerland, before returning to the school’s Pasadena campus.

Ezekiel Cole Wheeler –
Third-Year Transportation Design Student, Art Center College of Design.

A Transportation Design student at the prestigious Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, California, Ezekiel is actively engaged in Art Center’s Student Government as the Director of Communications and is also a member of the Art Center’s Eco Council. Ezekiel is a key leader and organizer of Art Center’s “Car-BQ” car event.

Ezekiel started Ezekiel Designs in 2006, specializing in SEMA Proposal Vehicles and Projects with GM and other private companies, and has been competing in national car shows for over 5 years. In 2007, his most recent project vehicle is to be featured in the next installment of Fast and Furious as well as the new season of Knight Rider.

On the horizon is Fashion Forward Magazine, a new look at the automobile and other forms of transportation through the eyes of women and fashion.