Longtime Mazda designer Jo Stenuit has been promoted to Design Director for Mazda Europe. Stenuit succeeds Kevin Rice who elected to leave Mazda earlier this year to become VP of Design at Chinese automaker Chery.
Reporting directly to Mazda’s Global Design Chief, Ikuo Maeda, Stenuit was a shoe-in for the role. Besides being one of the nicest designers I know in the industry, he’s spent the past 20 years working for the company, having joined Mazda’s European design center in Oberursel, Germany, in 1998. In 2006 he was promoted to Assistant Chief Designer and was most recently Head of Interior Design and Brand Style, a role he assumed in 2014.
In his new role. Stenuit will continue to work closely with TJ Nakamuta, chief designer for Mazda’s design studios in Yokohama and Hiroshima, Japan, as well as Mazda’s North American design director, Julien Montousse, and advanced design director Yasushi Nakamuta.
Since beginning his career at Mazda Europe, Stenuit was the project manager for the 2008 Kiyora concept; interior designer for the 2007 Hakaze concept; was responsible for the 2008 Mazda 3 production interior; and was the lead interior designer for the 2007 Mazda CX-7 — he spent two years in Mazda’s global headquarters in Hiroshima developing the program. He was also lead interior designer for the 2002 Mazda 6 MPS concept.
A graduate of the Royal College of Art in London, Stenuit started his design career as a creative designer developing Internet games and vehicles at Philips Research in the UK. He later worked as a contract designer for Volvo Design in the Netherlands, Technicon Design and Opel in Russelsheim.
“Mazda designers in Europe and elsewhere have been a key driver of the success of our products, creating beautiful cars that resonate with our customers,” said Jeff Guyton, President and CEO of Mazda Motor Europe. “We are delighted, with his depth of understanding of our brand, that Jo will be leading our design team in Europe. Together with his team, we know he will continue to ensure that our philosophy is being applied not only in our cars, but in everything we do.”
We wish Jo Stenuit all the very best in his new role.