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Breaking: Franz von Holzhausen to Tesla Motors as design director!

Discussion in 'News' started by stopcrazypp, Aug 4, 2008.

  1. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

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    Autobloggreen reports Franz von Holzhausen is heading to Tesla Motors as design director. They got confirmation from Darryl Siry and Mike Bumbeck. Holzhausen headed design of the Mazda Nagare and Furai concept cars. He also was responsible for various GM cars like the Pontiac Solstice, Saturn Sky, Chevy SS, etc.

    This is exciting news, it means Tesla will have it's own exciting in house designs and probably even the Whitestar might benefit from this.

    Links:
    Franz von Holzhausen to Tesla Motors - AutoblogGreen

    Original source from cardesignnews:
    Franz von Holzhausen - Car Design News
     
  2. tonybelding

    tonybelding Active Member

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    If you mean the cars might "benefit" the way the Solstice and Sky did, then I fear for the future of Tesla. :tongue:

    From the front, the Solstice looks to me like a rolling lump of. . . stuff that forms lumps. Use your imagination. Its nose is swollen, bulbous. From the moment I first saw the Solstice, it reminded me of those gutless, geeky, British things from the 1960s. It's not a good association.

    The Sky looks like it was designed by a crazed origami artist. It has way too many folds and creases. Too busy, too baroque. . . Too non-aerodynamic. I guess someone who grew up playing with Transformer toys might go for that. I was never into Transformers.
     
  3. Cobos

    Cobos S60 owner since 2013

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    Don't get me wrong I want the Whitestar to have a great design, but I'm a bit afraid this will mean the Whitestar might get even more delayed....:frown:

    Cobos
     
  4. Cobos

    Cobos S60 owner since 2013

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    Funny you should say that, I had a 3-4 year Transformer period in my childhood and my wife even had a crush on Optimus Prime :)
    I think the Sky looks nice. I'll agree the Solstice on GMs webpage doesn't look that good, but I've been fooled with pictures before. Before I actually saw the Roadster I thought the design was only so-so, in real life it's gorgous.

    Cobos
     
  5. tonybelding

    tonybelding Active Member

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    I agree. Even though I might quibble over a few details (the almost-vestigial rear wing, or the scowling front grille) it's simply beautiful over all. It's particularly clever how they used the carbon-fiber "roll bar" to make the car appear lower and sleeker than it actually is.

    Also in the same space is the understated Miata. . . Which isn't beautiful, isn't exciting, but at least is clean-looking and inoffensive. They've sold 800,000 now, so they must be doing something right. (And the Miata began as a near-clone of the Lotus Elan, let us not forget.)
     
  6. dpeilow

    dpeilow Moderator

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    On the other hand, the Furai just left me awestruck when I saw it at Goodwood and BIMS. More like this please :smile:

    2704274499_44dc498e57.jpg

    (Not sure if it is a one-off or headed for Le Mans, I hope we will see more of it.)
     
  7. malcolm

    malcolm Active Member

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    Working environment is everything. A design director is only as good as the team and management support allows. His concept cars look great - and so they should, but what's much more important is his contribution to production vehicles. I'm guessing this is the real reason behind his appointment.

    I don't think this will delay Whitestar. Tesla know that they have to launch as close as they can to the 2011 window.

    And I gotta say - I'm loving the level of Tesla's profile within the industry that they can recruit these people. Let's just hope they can avoid drifting into a restrictive "departmental" company structure.
     
  8. tonybelding

    tonybelding Active Member

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    Doesn't work for me.

    It reminds me of those "fantasy knives" that were popular for a while. You know. . . the cheap Xena/Klingon things with all the weird curves, holes and spurs that would preclude any possible way of using it as an actual knife.
     
  9. Finkenbusch

    Finkenbusch Member

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    Franz von Holzhausens assignment is unimportant

    The hiring of former Mazdas ing. will not bring Tesla anything in substance.

    Its a marketing gag only.

    This might be hard to digest for the Tesla-fanboys - but thats it, sober seen

    As the Tesla cars are basicallc produced like electric barbie dolls.
    Look for the label "Made in ...."
    Assembled from ready made of the shelf bought (mostly foreign) long existing products
    (body including glass, lamps, cabling, gear, switches, inside el-cheapo plastic, finish and underhood fitted together at Lotus England, batteries imported from Thailand shipped by container to the US)
    slammed together in a backdoor garage in the US.

    Only the shell (produced in France/GB) is a outstanding complex carbon fiber - I'm not sure if anyone in the US can repair such material if ever damaged.
    Most probably damaged hulls have to be replaced completely (for color reasons) or send back to GB. Carbon is extreme flexible but sturdy but not easily as metal mendable after a crash.
    The few patents the company Tesla holds on the home-assembled-kit-car itself are very weak at best and will most probably fall in the first attempt by any competitor. The company (in a country having sent men to the moon and back) struggles getting a comparable simple drivetrain (since 1938 the automatic flavour are found on the market - today Porsche has today tiptronics as standard in all their cars) for a car to work as advertised a year ago.
    A joke.

    To set up a real new roadster model with all the molds, forms, by-materials and tools required (I know what I’m talking about) will widely surpass the deep pockets and abilities of a Mr. Musk (pretty rich by having drawn a lucky ticket and got into Tesla by chance - otherwise success-less as Dubya) the current occupier of tesla motors.
    Everything besides his google adventure got/get bust as soon as he looks at it.
    Not only after he has rude shown the door to the founder of Tesla inc, Marcus Eberhard
    A not so appetizing rude king Midas of modern times.

    Only have a look how he elegant gets himself seated in the car or how he walks - you know that boy has had a long ride down from the mountains to the city.

    The move to highjack / bribe a otherwise renown designer is nothing more then dressing up the company for sale or IPO to the applauding claqueur / laymen.


    To make my point clear - the setup for the carbon fiber and fibre glass body parts ALONE, of a Tesla is neither a easy nor trivial matter. Not speaking of the many other parts for which tools would have to be custom build before even thinking of assembling a own car is a logistic and technical task of enormous proportions. simply Tesla cannot handle that today and will not in the future.

    Only the proper fitting and tightness of a wind (or side) screen or hardtop can be a unbelievable taunting task.
    In form, material, how to handle (ship) and logic (assembly / service)
    No company, even less nobody as individual person not real seasoned and experienced in that very industry and very deep pockets can hope to manage.
    A designer can draw whatever he likes - this means nothing if one does not have the technicians to work it trough from ground up - and Tesla as it stands (and the success to get some cars actually on the street is indeed remarkable) are lacking that all the way.

    What Tesla inc, especially because of the cultivated founder Martin Eberhard, have indeed accomplished so far is a huge marketing success.
    Assisted by luck for having been exactly at the right time (oil bubble) around - but especially at disguising & selling a 99% foreign-importet-pre-finished good as american invention / product.
     
  10. Cobos

    Cobos S60 owner since 2013

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    Finkenbusch: You are jumping to conclusions. It has never been said that the Model S will use carbonfiber body panels. Actually it has been hinted to that it will not since carbonfiber is too expensive for a model priced at $59k. Noone knows yet what they will use, I suggested plastic in another thread and others have suggested aluminum, but noone knows anything.

    Cobos
     
  11. dpeilow

    dpeilow Moderator

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  12. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

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    Finkenbusch, you are starting to sound like the commenters that I like to call "eurosnobs" (the "selling a 99% foreign-importet-pre-finished good as american invention / product" part).

    On the other points, sure, hiring the Mazda designer also brings good marketing, but the primary reason is to design cars. You don't hire a designer just for a short marketing stint, you hire one to design cars.

    As for making the car using a lot of ready made foreign parts, so what? Pretty much all car companies do that today. Fact of the matter is despite all the delays, Tesla still made the first production electric sports car in the world. Even Venturi has to wait until 2009 to release their's, the Lightning also isn't anywhere near ready yet (judging by how slow it was going in the video they released). Hey, if someone else can do it better, then that's great, but so far it's still Tesla right now.

    As others mentioned, the Whitestar will be using more conventional body materials so it shouldn't be much of a challenge to make the body.

    Anyways, I like the Furai design and the Sky design (don't care much for the Solstice, for similar reasons as tonybelding), so I'm thinking this guy might make some good designs for the Model S or the future hatchback, which is why I started this thread. As for whether Tesla can to produce a Model S, it's something we'll all see in the future, but is it really necessary to step on Tesla in every single one of your posts?
     
  13. W8MM

    W8MM R1.5 #325 + Mdl S #01380

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    Wow,Finkenbusch, relax a little bit.

    That process you describe sounds just like how things go at Porsche these days. Their Leipzig assembly facility is the largest "kit-car" operation in deutchland. The Carrera GT production line sounds exactly as you describe. Only the 612 PS engine came from in house. Or, were you talking about Valmet or Magna-Steyr and Boxsters?

    Hey, Tesla manufactures their electric motor just like Porsche makes their petrol motors!

    Since Porsche is the most profitable car manufacturer in the world, I think Tesla is in pretty good company using the "Porsche manufacturing method".

    You do regard Porsche as a legitimate vehicle producer, don't you?
     
  14. domenick

    domenick Nerd

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    That clip is in slow motion. They had a longer clip posted for a day that had more footage. I suspect it'll do about what they say.
     
  15. Cobos

    Cobos S60 owner since 2013

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    Most problably it will, but the interesting question is more towards when? That especially goes for the supposed quick charging. Yes I love the look of the Lightning but I'm very sceptical to the car at least until they have running prototypes.

    Cobos
     
  16. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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  17. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Check out the cars in this picture:
    Mazda-Nagare-designers-lg.jpg

    Looks like he "buzzed" the "SevenStock XI" event at Mazda HQ (Irvine, CA) in a Tesla recently:
    2893871221_a0a1e51880_o.jpg
     
  18. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    As an aside, it looks like Nagare, the Mazda design language to which Franz contributed, is dead:

    Nagare no longer goes with the flow - AutoExpress
    [​IMG]

    Unfortunately, as far as I can tell, the only aspect of Nagare to actually make it to production is that unsightly fat lipped grin and not so much the cool flowing lines. In which case, it's probably better they kill it. As for what Mazda will do next, I had to raise an eyebrow to this quote:
    [​IMG]
     
  19. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    Tesla's Musk had to woo von Holzhausen | Silicon Valley / San Jose Business Journal - via ABG


     

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