Peter Birtwhistle will be stepping down from its position of chief designer inside Mazda Europe. He spent 26 years with Mazda, first joining the company in 1988.
He led the Mazda Europe’s design department since mid-1999. Among other important models, Birtwhistle was involved in developing Mazda’s “KODO – Soul of Motion” design theme, found on current Mazda3, Mazda6 and the recently introduced Mazda2.
Birtwhistle will be replaced by Kevin Rice starting September 1st. The 50 year old British designer returned last autumn as creative director to Mazda’s European R&D Centre in Oberursel, Germany. He worked there also in 1990 for five years. Kevin Rice also worked for different European brands, including BMW.
“Mazda has a long tradition in Europe for its stand-out designs and is considered the most European of Japanese brands. This is in large part thanks to Peter’s passion for design and for cars. We are fortunate to have a successor of such great talent. Kevin will continue Peter’s work, giving Mazda the necessary continuity while at the same time representing a new generation of designers,” says Mazda Motor Europe President & CEO Jeff Guyton.