In one of the biggest surprises yet this year, Ford Motor Company has just announced that Anthony Lo will be replacing Moray Callum as VP of Design. Callum will retire from Ford this spring and be succeeded by Lo, who was head of exterior design at Groupe Renault until the start of this year. Lo apparently handed in his resignation only three weeks ago.
Moray Callum will end his 38-year product development career – more than half of which was with Ford – as the company’s vice president of global design, where he steered the direction of Ford and Lincoln brands. Callum’s retirement is effective May 1, enabling a one-month transition to Lo, who will start with Ford on April 1. Like Callum, Lo will report to Hau Thai-Tang, Ford’s chief product platform and operations officer.
Callum’s design influence on Ford and the industry has been extensive. His most recent body of work was particularly prolific, as Callum and his team helped create and introduce the acclaimed 2021 F-150, Mustang Mach-E, and reimagined Bronco and Bronco Sport. A refined, modern design language for Lincoln has been essential to the brand’s global resurgence.
Callum joined Ford in 1995 working on key North American products such as the 2000 Ford Taurus and Ford Super Duty pickup trucks. Among notable designs, Callum was responsible for the 1999 Super Duty truck, 2011 Explorer, 2005 Mazda MX-5, 2007 Mazda CX-7, 2015 Mustang and F-150, and 2016 Ford GT designs over the course of his career.
“Moray’s influence is seen on streets around the globe,” said Thai-Tang. “He brought and sustained a design vision and leadership to studios – including Ghia in Italy and Mazda in Japan, in addition to Ford and Lincoln – that has elevated the beauty, meaning and function of cars, trucks and SUVs for millions of customers.”
Born in 1958, Callum graduated from Napier University in Edinburgh with a bachelor’s degree in industrial design and went on to earn an MA in vehicle design from the Royal College of Art in London. His international design career started in 1982 when he graduated from the RCA and began working for Chrysler Corporation in the UK.
He later moved to France and took a job at PSA Peugeot Citroën working on passenger and commercial vehicles. In 1988, he joined Ghia SpA as a consultant designer. At Ghia, which was then owned by Ford, Callum guided the development of dozens of concept vehicles at the now-defunct Italian carrozzeria, including the Ford Ghia Via and the Aston Martin Lagonda Vignale.
A native of Scotland, Callum had two tenures with Ford totaling 21 years. His first was from 1995 until 2001 when he joined Mazda, which was majority-owned by Ford at the time. He led the company’s design transformation and ushered in models such as the second-generation of the company’s iconic MX-5 sports car, the CX-7 crossover, and the Mazda2, Mazda3, Mazda5 and Mazda6.
Callum returned to Ford as executive director of Design for the Americas in 2006, where he had overall responsibility for the design of all cars and trucks created in Ford’s North and South America studios as well as Lincoln products. He was promoted to his current role in 2014.
Lo will join Ford in the midst of an ambitious plan to turn around and grow its automotive business, with continued design of must-have vehicles.
“Our industry is evolving more rapidly than ever, and Ford will win the trust of customers by staying on the leading edge of that curve,” said Thai-Tang. “Anthony is a world-class design leader with an exemplary global track record. We’re excited to have him lead our Design organization as we accelerate the creation of connected, intelligent and increasingly electrified products.”
Born in Hong Kong, Lo got his initial break in the auto industry in 1987, when one of his professors at the Royal College of Art in London offered him a position at Lotus Cars in England. There, Lo designed the distinctive Lotus Carlton, the world’s fastest car of its type at the time.
Lo said recently that his familiarity with Ford began as a young adult on the streets of Hong Kong, where the brand has and maintains a strong presence. Later, he discovered the popularity of Ford in England and Continental Europe, “where it’s like a national brand.” He added that models such as the Sierra RS Cosworth, “with its imposing floating rear spoiler and track-racing pedigree to match,” made a lasting impression on him.
“With the speed of evolving technologies and expectations, I believe cars will change more in the next decade than they have in the last century,” said Lo. “Leading this change at Ford is a dream job for any car designer, and we’re going to embrace this era with open minds, ingenuity and breakthrough design solutions.”
At Renault in Paris for the past 10 years, Lo was instrumental in the development of the company’s ‘Cycle of Life’ design strategy, led by Design VP Laurens van den Acker. That approach was the basis for a series of award-winning concept cars, such as the Dezir, Captur, R-Space, Frendzy, Twin’Z, Twin’Run, and Trezor. Lo and his team implemented the strategy in Renault’s all-new global lineup of cars and SUVs.
Of the many production vehicles Lo worked on, he is proudest of the second-generation Renault Captur, which built on the success of the original model with features like a wider track, distinctive lighting signature and more expressive body sides, and the Dacia Duster 2, delivering on its low-cost objective without compromising attractiveness.
Lo joined Swedish carmaker Saab in 2000 and worked on the Aero X concept car (video above) as well as the last generation 9-5. From 2004 to 2010, Lo was director of Advanced Design for General Motors Europe, overseeing Saab, Opel and Vauxhall projects. Earlier, Lo was with Mercedes-Benz in Japan, working on the company’s Maybach concept and S-Class vehicles, as well as Audi in Germany.
In addition to a master’s degree in Automotive Design from RCA, Lo holds a higher diploma in Industrial Design from Hong Kong Polytechnic University.