CARMEL, Calif. — Lincoln Motor Co. has named Kemal Curic its new design director, replacing David Woodhouse, who earlier this year left for a position at Nissan Group.
Curic, 41, who grew up in Germany and Croatia, has previously served as exterior designer of a number of Lincoln vehicles and led the exterior design for the 2015 Mustang. He began his career at Ford of Europe in 2003, working on vehicles such as the Fiesta, Kuga and Mondeo.
His big break came in 2010, when he won a global sketch competition Ford created to select a designer for the 50th anniversary Mustang. He was named the pony car's exterior design manager.
"Growing up in Europe, I was always fascinated by American vehicles," he told Automotive News, noting his favorite vehicle was a 1967 Mustang.
Working on the vehicle's 50th anniversary program, he said, was "the holy grail."
He moved to the Lincoln team in 2014 and crafted the exterior design of the Continental. In subsequent years he was named chief designer on the Aviator and most recently worked on exterior design for the Corsair.
Curic will split time between Lincoln's offices in Dearborn, Mich., and its design studio in Irvine, Calif. He said he'll be focused on continuing to inject the brand's "quiet flight" design themes into future vehicles as he settles into his new role.
"We've developed this vision and DNA together working as a team across the globe," he said. "We're going to keep evolving it."