Former Mercedes-Benz senior Color and Trim designer and project leader Francesca Sangalli has taken on a new role as Head of SEAT’s Color & Trim Concept & Strategy department. Sangalli will join Volkswagen Group’s Spanish subsidiary later this month, reporting directly to SEAT design director Alejandro Mesonero-Romanos.
Born in Milan, Italy, Sangalli has spent the last 16 years of her career working at Mercedes-Benz’s advanced design studio in Como, which was responsible for many of the German company’s interior proposals. While there, Sangalli led strategic design initiatives for Mercedes-Benz passenger car interiors (both production and research projects) and devised concept design for innovative functions, materials and design theme for implementation in Mercedes-Benz, Smart, Maybach and AMG vehicles. She also conducted Color&Trim and innovative materials research and led the art direction and design coordination for Mercedes-Benz Style projects.
Sangalli will now be responsible not only for creating the colors, materials, textures, fabrics and leathers that will feature in SEAT’s future models, but also the Spanish brand’s concept and strategy. Sangalli will be an important pillar for creating the strategy of new colors and materials for future vehicles and benefit from the experience of current team leader Jordi Font, who is now responsible for the operational implementation of the design strategy.
With a team of approximately 150 creative members, the SEAT Design Center is the only automotive design facility in Spain. This is where all the SEAT models are designed, and collaboration work is carried out on several projects for the rest of the Volkswagen Group brands. The Color&Trim department plays an essential role in creating the identity of the products and in the way the brand is perceived in order to respond to the latest trends.
“The appropriate choice of materials and colors is a way to differentiate the perceived appeal and high quality of our brand’s vehicles, and Francesca is certainly one of the best international talents in this discipline,” Mesonero-Romanos said of Sangalli’s appointment. “We are extremely proud to welcome her experience and excellence to the team.”
Sangalli holds a degree in Architecture from the Polytechnic University of Milan, where she specialized in industrial and interior design and graduated with honors. She also holds an industrial design degree from Brunel University in London and speaks Italian, English and French.
Francesca Sangalli’s appointment reflects SEAT’s commitment to design as a key element for the growth of the company. This year, the brand is concluding its SUV offensive with the SEAT Tarraco, and is going to debut the new generation Leon in 2019, two launches that represent a step forward in the company’s design language. The arrival of the brand’s first fully electric vehicle in 2020 will also imply a design and technological revolution for the company.