GUY BIRD

Writer & consultant
London

Consumer

Category:
I’ve written car consumer stories since the early 2000s, first at Intersection and later Auto Express, The Daily Express and CAR. The latter title in particular is one of the world’s most respected and longest-running automotive consumer magazines, tracing its roots back to 1962. I’ve been writing for the title since 2006, mainly longer-form features and news analysis for the print version, but also news and motorshow reporting for its website. The excerpt below is from a 2022 Inquisition feature on Miles Nurnberger, the new director of design at Dacia…
“CAR is one of the world’s most respected automotive titles. I’ve been writing for the magazine since 2006, specialising in car design stories ”

When Aston Martin’s design director jumps ship to Dacia you have to ask the question ‘why?’

One brand is arguably the most suave sports car on earth and 007’s preferred vehicle of pursuit or escape – in the movies at least – while the other is normally regarded as sensible, cut-price and at a push, beloved by Romanian farmers. But for some reason Miles Nurnberger has just decided to quit his design director role at the former (Aston Martin) for a similar position at the latter (Dacia). When CAR meets Nurnberger in Munich at IAA Mobility in September 2021, he’s only four days into his new job, but greets our first burning question with a smile. ‘The phone call came out of the blue, but I’d been thinking for a couple of years about what happens next?’ he begins. ‘I didn’t really want to work in the luxury segment again and had been super-lucky at Aston to launch so many cars but I was saturated. So to do something more like where I started – I loved my university internship at Land Rover and spent time at Citroen too – I’m returning to that spirit. And Dacia’s momentum and direction feels fresh, as opposed to going to a brand where you’d be working on the B-segment version of a design that’s already in place.’ The 45-year Brit has certainly had a major impact on global car design so far. After stints at Ford, Lincoln and Citroen – where he penned the practical C3 Picasso – he joined Aston in 2008 where he designed the dramatic exterior of the ONE-77 hypercar, led the DB11 and Vantage projects as head of exterior design and went on to become design director in 2018 (under chief creative officer Marek Reichman). By the time he left in 2021 he had helped launch 37 Astons during one of the busiest periods in the luxury brand’s history. No-nonsense Dacia can’t match the kudos of Aston Martin, but designing its future range has the potential to affect more people’s lives. Aston sold fewer than 6000 cars in 2019 compared to Dacia’s almost three-quarters of a million and Nurnberger is enthused by the clarity of its design already and where it could go next, name-checking non-automotive brands including IKEA and workwear-cum-streetwear brand Carhartt, as possible reference points…

 

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