British designer Peter Horbury made his reputation helping carmakers in other countries find their styling mojo. He did it in Sweden and the United States, and now he'll try to pull it off in China.
Horbury, 61, is moving from Volvo to become head of design at Geely, China's top seller of domestic-brand models. No successor has been named at Volvo.
As Volvo's top designer in the 1990s, Horbury put an end to boxy styling and injected some cool and sportiness in the staid Swedish brand. As Ford's executive director of design for the Americas starting in 2004, he helped bring a bolder look to Ford vehicles, including the three-bar grille, and instigated Lincoln's flowing lines and large stylish grilles.
Horbury returned to Volvo in 2009 as vice president of design. Last year Zhejiang Geely bought the Swedish company from Ford.
Styling is seen as a key reason Chinese carmakers are losing share to foreign brands in China. While several domestic automakers have sought help from independent design houses in Italy, Geely has done little of that -- and critics say it shows.