Which African-American car designer lead the design team for the Ford Motor Company in designing the 2010 Ford Taurus SHO, 2003 Lincoln Navigator and Expedition?
Photo, Copyright 2009 The New York Times
Earl Lucas (1970- ), was born in Dallas, Texas. He went to Booker T. Washington High School and was in the arts program. Initially, he was interested in the 3-D process of making jewelry with metal at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, Michigan. Two years into the program, he switched from a crafts major to industrial design. However, he liked the field of transportation.
In college, he and some of his classmates designed a van to transport elderly riders. That job led to a job designing car seats, panels for doors, and headliners for an auto supplier. Then he really got a dream job in Texas designing planes owned by the wealthy Sultan of Brunei. In the sultan's planes, he used real gold, platinum, and all kinds of precious jewels.
2010 Ford Taurus SHO
As a design manager for Ford, Lucas works with three or four car designers. Black Enterprise magazine notes that he is one of 25 to 30 African-American car designers in the world.
Ed Wellburn, an African American, is General Motors (GM) Corporation's vice president of global design.
Crystal Windham, an African American, is responsible for the interior design of the Chevrolet Malibu mid-size sedan and diredctor of North American passenger car design for GM.
Michael Burton, GM director of exterior design for front-wheel-drive trucks and luxury crossovers. He was also the lead interior designer for the Buick Enclave and GMC Acadia.
Ralph Gilles, an African American car designer, is Chrysler L.L.C.'s chief designer, and designed the Chrysler 300C large sedan. The 300C was nicknamed the "Hip Hop Car."