Head of Mazda’s European Design Department Steps Down
Mazda has announced that Kevin Rice, the creative boss of the company’s European design department, will be leaving the brand after five years “to pursue a career outside of Mazda”.
“As part of the global Mazda design group, Kevin has led a team in Europe who have made significant contributions to the success of our business both in Europe and globally,” said Jeff Guyton, Mazda’s president for the European region.
Following a 13 year spell at BMW, Rice joined Mazda in 2013, replacing Peter Birtwhistle as creative director of the company’s R&D facility in Oberursel, Germany.
However, Rice technically ‘rejoined’ Mazda in 2013, as the British designer had actually spent five years working for the brand back in the 1990s.
During that period he is said to have contributed to many proposals for future Mazda’s such as the RX-8 and also lead the development of the ‘Neospace’ concept car, which was exhibited at the 1999 Frankfurt Motor Show.
Prior to joining Mazda in 1995, Rice had completed stints at both Italdesign in Italy and Opel in Germany.
Mazda has yet to make an announcement about a successor to Kevin.