Long-time Ford designer and the individual who oversaw the current GT model design recently passed away over the July 21/22 weekend, ending his battle with cancer at the age of 53.
Svensson was born in England and attended the Royal College of Art and Coventry University. He spent his entire career in design at Ford Motors.
The Drive recently reported that Svensson penned the original Ford Ka for a school graduation design thesis, a popular European vehicle, which was launched in 1996 and with huge sales England, the project scored him his first Ford role at the company’s Cologne, Germany design center.
After that, Svensson worked in multiple design centers for the company within Australia, England, and Germany, rising through the corporate ladder to land the role of Design Director of Ford’s Asia Pacific and Africa division, and then headed to the United States, working at the company’s headquarters in Michigan. He was placed as the head of design for Ford’s North and South America division, and was the Global Design Director for trucks, SUVs, and commercial vehicles from January 2014 onward.
Still, it is the part he played around the Ford GT’s design that may carve out Svensson’s legacy the most. The project was started under utter secrecy at the company, with a design team shaping the supercar within a room in a basement at Ford’s Dearborn design center. The debut of the GT during the Detroit Auto Show in 2015 offered a shocker of a surprise, as the project was able to avoid any leaks to the media. There were even top-level executives at the company that were banned from seeing the vehicle design, prior to its big 2015 reveal.
While he was self-proclaimed as an “artist first, and car guy second”, one look at his Instagram handle and anyone can see just how passionate Svensson was about car design. Still, more than his love of vehicles and design, it’s clear that he was also a man who adored his family. Social media images and notes painted a picture of a loving father to his two daughters, and devoted husband to his wife.
Deepest condolences go out to Chris Svensson’s family, friends, and all his colleagues at Ford.