Kevin Rice has become Chery’s new design vice president, the company has confirmed. The 55-year-old, who officially started his new role on 1st October, will lead the team at a new design centre in Raunheim, Frankfurt. Chery aims to launch vehicles designed for the European market, under the Exeed name, in the new decade.
This answers the question of where Rice would go after announcing in late August that he wanted “to pursue a career outside Mazda” – which, of course, meant leaving Mazda. He had worked for the Japanese brand for five years at their own European design centre in Oberursel, coincidentally(?) not very far away from Chery’s new facility.
His work on the ‘Kodo’ design language has taken Mazda design to new heights, so it’ll be interesting to see if the same trick can be pulled in his new role. The first Exeed, the TX, has already been revealed, so the cars due to follow will have to build on what the SUV has already established in terms of form language and graphics. We will naturally keep a close eye on the subsequent output.