The College for Creative Studies in Detroit has named former Fisker Automotive executive Alexander Klatt as the chairman of its transportation design master's degree program.
Klatt, 50, was the vice president of global design at Fisker, where he led a design team that developed the Karma and Atlantic hybrid sports cars.
Klatt will be responsible for developing the graduate curriculum and will lead marketing and promotional strategies for the department. Klatt will also be implementing summer programs and workshops for graduate students.
Klatt explained that he was joining the college because he wanted to influence the automotive industry as much as possible.
"Now is the time in the transportation industry to focus on educating the new generation of designers. I want to take the time. I want to focus on students as individuals and find out what their interests are," Klatt said in a statement. "With my background I want to develop, with CCS' existing strengths, a program where designers with other backgrounds can become that new generation."
Klatt joined Fisker in 2008 as director of interior design, color and materials design. He had previously held interior design positions at BMW DesignworksUSA and BMW Group in Germany.
"The designer is typically the only one in the car industry who thinks holistically about the product," Klatt said. "I see technology coming up where there will be dramatic changes. Designers need to be ready for this challenge. It will be a great learning process for students to learn to reinvent and to come up with more visions for the future of mobility."
Fisker Automotive was founded in 2007 and had planned to manufacture at least three models. The only car the company produced was the plug-in hybrid Karma, which suffered from several well-publicized mechanical flaws and malfunctions. Fisker now is in bankruptcy and has not manufactured a vehicle since 2012. Two Chinese companies have submitted bids in federal bankruptcy court for the company's assets. An auction is set for Wednesday.
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