The Ghia Focus concept (1992) was very influential, and is considered the high-point of the freeform/organic design trend.
Ghia StreetKa (2000), recently announced for production.
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23 March 2001 - Ford Motor Company Design has announced the restructuring of Ghia S.p.A., it's design studio subsidiary located in Turin, Italy. Ghia is being transformed from a traditional Italian coachbuilder to an electronic concept studio.
As we further define our priorities within the Ford Motor Company global Design organization, we are making changes to the operating structure of our worldwide studios to meet the needs of our portfolio of brands, said J Mays, Ford Motor Company vice president of Design and Chairman of the Board for Ghia. This is consistent with our quest for efficiency throughout the Ford Motor Company product development enterprise.
The restructuring of Ghia S.p.A. includes a 95 percent reduction of operating staff, refocusing of the skill mix needed to operate an electronic studio versus a full-service coachbuilder, and the updating of the facility and equipment. The studio currently employs 48 designers, engineers and model makers.
The new operating structure for Ghia has been modeled after the structure of Volvos Barcelona and California studios. The Ghia studio will have five design staff working completely on the computer and will be charged with the development of new vehicle proposals, concept vehicles, and themes for high-series model trim levels for the Ford of Europe product line-up. The designers also will be responsible for learning about the customers in their region in order to better serve them through products that are designed to meet their needs.
It is essential that designers in the Ghia studio develop proposals that draw from the rich culture, diverse needs and unique driving conditions that our Italian customers identify with, while creating Ford products that will appeal to the greater European customer base, said Mays.
Ghias design proposals will be created and refined completely on the computer and then through data transfer to one of the Ford studios - Dunton, England or Cologne, Germany - a hard model will be milled for review and verification. This approach will help streamline the design process reducing vehicle development time and cost.
Ghia S.p.A. will remain in its current location in Turin, Italy through the end of the building lease in 2002. The computing equipment in the current studio will be upgraded to meet the requirements of operating an electronic studio.
While this restructuring appears to make sense in terms of Ford's global design organization and modern design processes, it effectively ends the traditional coachbuilding and prototyping side of the Ghia business.
Ford has also announced that Ghia's managing director Filippo Sapino will retire on April 1, after 32 years as a Ford designer.
Ford has stated that it continues to value the Ghia brand name and rich heritage and will continue to honor and preserve it for the future through the continued development of exciting new designs.
See also: Ghia chief Filippo Sapino to retire