Says Callum: "We don't just expect our people to know what's going on in the world and what our global customers want, we need them to know what's going on. With Chris and Craig having worked in Asia Pacific, it's really important for us."
The Melbourne studio, which employs between 100 and 180 depending on what projects are in the works, is Ford's "conduit" to China, Callum says. Ford also has a satellite design office in Shanghai.
Ford's emphasis on China was apparent at last month's Beijing auto show. The automaker introduced three vehicles. Company officials say one -- the Lincoln MKX -- will come to the United States. Executives left the door open for a second, the Ford Escort, to be sold here.
Callum, 55, a native of Scotland who once headed design at Mazda in Hiroshima, Japan, says the Chinese influence will benefit U.S. customers.
"The great thing is the Chinese customer is a very discerning customer," he says. "They're quite open with their criticism as well."
Chinese customers are particularly picky about the quality of materials and craftsmanship on interiors, Callum says.
Svensson says Chinese customers like vehicle interiors with "light and warmth."
Not only does Callum want his leadership team to be versed in design around the globe, he's looking for people with broad-based experience with different vehicles.