Franz von Holzhausen Joins Tesla Motors as Chief Designer

April 20, 2010

SAN CARLOS, CA– Franz von Holzhausen, former Director of Design for Mazda North America, has joined Tesla Motors as Chief Designer. In addition to driving the design direction of Tesla Motors in the short term, Franz is charged with building a world class design competency at Tesla Motors.

Franz will report to Elon Musk, Chairman and Product Architect of Tesla Motors. “Tesla is about stunning design, combined with breakthrough technology and fantastic service.  Those three in combination are what will make us a great company.  Franz is joining Tesla with the mission to build the world’s leading automotive design studio,” said Elon.

In his previous role, Franz led the design and development of concept and production cars for Mazda North America, including the acclaimed Nagare and Furai concept cars. Previously, he served as design manager for General Motors where he worked on the concept and production design of the Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Skye, among other projects. Franz is a graduate of the Art Center College of Design.

“Tesla is changing the paradigm,” said Franz “we’re going to turn the world on its ear and create high demand through design. There is a new hunger in the air for automotive design and looking to where automobiles are going in the future. Tesla will capture this through good design and engineering.”

Franz von Holzhausen is the third recent addition of auto industry veterans to the Tesla Motors management team. In July, Tesla announced the appointment of Mike Donoughe, a former VP engineering from Chyrsler LLC, as EVP Vehicle Engineering and Manufacturing. Earlier this week, Tesla announced that Deepak Ahuja, a former Ford finance executive, joined Tesla as Chief Financial Officer.

About Tesla Motors

Tesla Motors develops and manufactures electric vehicles with exceptional design, performance and efficiency, while conforming to all U.S. safety, environmental and durability standards. The Tesla Roadster is the only highway capable production electric car of any kind for sale in the United States.

With a 0 to 60 mph acceleration of 3.9 seconds, a 14,000 rpm redline, and the fastest top gear acceleration of any production car tested by Car & Driver magazine in 2007, the Tesla Roadster is unique in providing super car performance, zero emissions and extraordinary efficiency. For more information, visit