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    Pininfarina fires Ken Okuyama!!

    PININFARINA DESIGN BOSS KEN OKUYAMA IS RELIEVED OF HIS POSITION

    In a brief statement Italian design and engineering house Pininfarina has announced that their Director of Design Ken Okuyama - who was responsible for designing cars including the Ferrari Enzo, 612 Scaglietti and Maserati Quattroporte - has been relieved of his duties with the group with immediate effect.

    "Pininfarina announces that, effective today, Ken Okuyama, Pininfarina's Director of Design since July 2005, will no longer hold that position," read a statement issued in Turin. "The Company's decision comes as a result of the various external activities Ken Okuyama was carrying out beyond his responsibilities within Pininfarina. With effect today Andrea Pininfarina - Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Pininfarina Group - will hold, pro tempore, the position of Director of Design. The three Chief Designers - Guglielmo Cartia, Fabrizio Valentini and Lowie Vermeersch - will report directly to him," the statement concluded. Ken Okuyama was in fact was promoted to the position of Director of Design just over a year ago, during his second stint with the firm.

    He had previously worked as a designer for Pininfarina from 1995 - 2000. During that period, he created highly praised designs for production cars such as the Ferrari Enzo supercar, the Ferrari 612 Scaglietti "Gran Tourer" and the Maserati Quattroporte luxury saloon as well as a swage of very well received and successful prototype cars that included the Peugeot Nautilus and the Ferrari Rossa. He also supervised production projects for Alfa Romeo, Honda, Mitsubishi and Peugeot.

    He left Pininfarina for a four-year tenure as chair of the transportation design department at Art Center College of Design in the United States. Okuyama returned to the prestigious Italian firm in 2004 firstly as Creative Director and then since July 1, 2005 he held the position of Director of Design.

    Re: Pininfarina fires Ken Okuyama!!

    Hope Porsche grabs him because he is my favorite in the business, Aston Marting's design department aside that is...

    Re: Pininfarina fires Ken Okuyama!!

    Lots & lots of people will be happy by this move by Pininfarina.

    Re: Pininfarina fires Ken Okuyama!!

    Quote:
    Carlos from Spain said:
    Hope Porsche grabs him because he is my favorite in the business, Aston Marting's design department aside that is...



    Carlos, Carlos (sigh) Porsche does not have a design department. What would he do?

    Re: Pininfarina fires Ken Okuyama!!

    Quote:
    nberry said:
    Quote:
    Carlos from Spain said:
    Hope Porsche grabs him because he is my favorite in the business, Aston Marting's design department aside that is...



    Carlos, Carlos (sigh) Porsche does not have a design department. What would he do?


    that is so you nick....lol!

    Re: Pininfarina fires Ken Okuyama!!

    Quote:
    nberry said:
    Carlos, Carlos (sigh) Porsche does not have a design department. What would he do?



    Nick, Nick, Okuyama has already worked for Porsche in the design of the type 996 generation

    Re: Pininfarina fires Ken Okuyama!!

    Quote:
    Carlos from Spain said:
    Quote:
    nberry said:
    Carlos, Carlos (sigh) Porsche does not have a design department. What would he do?



    Nick, Nick, Okuyama has already worked for Porsche in the design of the type 996 generation



    996, that's the previous model right? This is the one that, everytime I see one, my eyes immediately go to the bottom of the doors - it looks like the door's been accidented and repaired by an incompetent bodyshop...

    Re: Pininfarina fires Ken Okuyama!!

    If Ken's last name were Pininfarina would he be getting canned? Doubt it. Oh well, there has to be some hot Italian or American designer to fill his shoes. It's probably a thankless job anyway because you're always the brunt of any negativity.

    Re: Pininfarina fires Ken Okuyama!!

    Quote:
    koko said:
    In a brief statement Italian design and engineering house Pininfarina has announced that their Director of Design Ken Okuyama - who was responsible for designing cars including the Ferrari Enzo, 612 Scaglietti and Maserati Quattroporte - has been relieved of his duties with the group with immediate effect.



    Well, the Quattroporte is a beautiful car. But the Scaglietti as well as the Enzo surely are not the best designs of Pininfarina for Ferrari.

    So no need to worry if Okuyama is fired, let's just wait and see.

    Re: Pininfarina fires Ken Okuyama!!

    Quote:
    Rossi said:
    Quote:
    koko said:
    In a brief statement Italian design and engineering house Pininfarina has announced that their Director of Design Ken Okuyama - who was responsible for designing cars including the Ferrari Enzo, 612 Scaglietti and Maserati Quattroporte - has been relieved of his duties with the group with immediate effect.



    Well, the Quattroporte is a beautiful car. But the Scaglietti as well as the Enzo surely are not the best designs of Pininfarina for Ferrari.

    So no need to worry if Okuyama is fired, let's just wait and see.



    I think the 612 Scaglietti sketchs were beautiful and it always seemed to me that the engineering department adulterated its original design ( in particular demand for a great length)

    Re: Pininfarina fires Ken Okuyama!!

    Quote:
    Carlos from Spain said:

    Nick, Nick, Okuyama has already worked for Porsche in the design of the type 996 generation



    SORRY Carlos, I'm a real Porsche addict (unlike Mr. Nick), BUT IMO that was THE WORST Porsche Design EVER, only my opinion of course !!

    Re: Pininfarina fires Ken Okuyama!!

    Quote:
    nberry said:
    Quote:
    Carlos from Spain said:
    Hope Porsche grabs him because he is my favorite in the business, Aston Marting's design department aside that is...



    Carlos, Carlos (sigh) Porsche does not have a design department. What would he do?



    yeah, thats true! they only have a "restyling department"...after all they have been redesigning the same form for 40 years....LOL!
    p.s. rather sucsessfull though.

    Re: Pininfarina fires Ken Okuyama!!

    he produced some beautiful cars , hopefully a major car company picks him up ex (lambo , porsche , aston , ruf)

    Re: Pininfarina fires Ken Okuyama!!


    Was he responsible for the F360 and F430? Then I'm glad he's gone. The last classy good looking "entry level" Ferrari was the F355. I hope the next model is an improvement.

    David

    Re: Pininfarina fires Ken Okuyama!!

    Quote:
    DavidSF said:

    Was he responsible for the F360 and F430? Then I'm glad he's gone. The last classy good looking "entry level" Ferrari was the F355. I hope the next model is an improvement.

    David


    I agree. I also think the 612 is a big disappointment and I'm not crazy about the 599 either.

    Re: Pininfarina fires Ken Okuyama!!

    Okuyama tried to instill too much retro mid-50s Ferrari styling of the Rossellini/Bergman/ Agnelli euro playboy era . But with aging boomers like Luca de Montezemolo running the place what else did we expect ? The 612 and 599 ended up looking more like 1990s Corvettes and Supras than what I expect 21st century Ferraris to look like , but perhaps that's what their marketing dept said it takes to sell to men in their 50s/early 60s who these front engine models target.

    Re: Pininfarina fires Ken Okuyama!!

    Quote:
    MKW said:
    Okuyama tried to instill too much retro mid-50s Ferrari styling of the Rossellini/Bergman/ Agnelli euro playboy era . But with aging boomers like Luca de Montezemolo running the place what else did we expect ? The 612 and 599 ended up looking more like 1990s Corvettes and Supras than what I expect 21st century Ferraris to look like , but perhaps that's what their marketing dept said it takes to sell to men in their 50s/early 60s who these front engine models target.



    Hard words but not without a grain ot truth.

    Re: Pininfarina fires Ken Okuyama!!

    Maybe now Ferrari's will once again be beautiful...except the 360 CS and/or F430 the rest have been a disaster in design...of course this is just my humble opinion.

    Re: Pininfarina fires Ken Okuyama!!

    Quote:
    ingegnere said:
    ... 996, that's the previous model right?



    One should always remember that it's the board that makes the final decisions reg. about the final product. I do know that several designers at Porsche got very frustrated in the past since their ideas and concepts didn't - or could't - make it into reality.

    Ken Okuyama set a new direction for Ferrari - no matter what everyone thinks about its design. I had a hard time understanding the F430 and 612 design language until I discovered the 599. The new design language has been established all over the product range and should be a good starting point for upcoming models. In the end I prefer a controversial design over a blunt, softened one any day!

    Re: Pininfarina fires Ken Okuyama!!

    Quote:
    Ferdie said:
    Ken Okuyama set a new direction for Ferrari - no matter what everyone thinks about its design. I had a hard time understanding the F430 and 612 design language until I discovered the 599. The new design language has been established all over the product range and should be a good starting point for upcoming models. In the end I prefer a controversial design over a blunt, softened one any day!



    Let's hope you're right for the F430-successor!

    Re: Pininfarina fires Ken Okuyama!!

    Quote:
    Rossi said:
    Let's hope you're right for the F430-successor!



    Yes, I am very curious about that model as well! One man's influence can be occasionally seen on a marque's production designs but I have my doubts that Okuyama's discharge will contribute to a massively different design direction. Just my personal 02 cents!

    Re: Pininfarina fires Ken Okuyama!!

    Quote:
    Ferdie said:
    Quote:
    Rossi said:
    Let's hope you're right for the F430-successor!



    Yes, I am very curious about that model as well! One man's influence can be occasionally seen on a marque's production designs but I have my doubts that Okuyama's discharge will contribute to a massively different design direction. Just my personal 02 cents!



    I'm not expecting a very different design as well, but I'm hoping for a car which design is a little bit more coherent. Because let's face it, the F430 is a brilliant piece of machinery, but design-wise it is not much more than a beefed up 360 Modena, which isn't bad at all but OTOH is nothing really spectacular.

    Re: Pininfarina fires Ken Okuyama!!

    Quote:
    Rossi said:



    Because let's face it, the F430 is a brilliant piece of machinery, but design-wise it is not much more than a beefed up 360 Modena



    Any kid good at photo shopping could have grafted this nose :




    and this tail :





    onto a 360 Modena in 15 minutes and presented the design proposal for the "F430" to the Ferrari board of directors for approval .

    Re: Pininfarina fires Ken Okuyama!!

    Quote:
    Ferdie said:
    Quote:
    ingegnere said:
    ... 996, that's the previous model right?



    One should always remember that it's the board that makes the final decisions reg. about the final product. I do know that several designers at Porsche got very frustrated in the past since their ideas and concepts didn't - or could't - make it into reality.

    Ken Okuyama set a new direction for Ferrari - no matter what everyone thinks about its design. I had a hard time understanding the F430 and 612 design language until I discovered the 599. The new design language has been established all over the product range and should be a good starting point for upcoming models. In the end I prefer a controversial design over a blunt, softened one any day!



    Okuyama is the "Chris Bangle" of Ferrari.

    David

    Re: Pininfarina fires Ken Okuyama!!

    Quote:
    DavidSF said:
    Okuyama is the "Chris Bangle" of Ferrari.

    David



    So things can only get better...

    Re: Pininfarina fires Ken Okuyama!!

    Quote:
    DavidSF said:
    ... Okuyama is the "Chris Bangle" of Ferrari.



    Chris Bangle had more media presence than Ken Okuyama. That's for sure. Interesting, that you mentioned the air intakes on the F430 that were derived from previous Ferrari racecars. Especially that item made me wonder whether Okuyama and his team came up with it or someone from the board. I suspect it has rather been the later, much similiar to the process with Porsche's SC watch.

    From what I've heard Okuyama has several clients that keep his product design office in Japan running - this additional duty has said to be the reason for his dismissal at Pininfarina!

    Re: Pininfarina fires Ken Okuyama!!

    So what can we infer from this press release? Was he moonlighting in other design tasks, or was he out partying with hookers and blow?

    Seems abrupt and hasty, and not a result of his work. Personally I think recent Ferrari design has been spot on so this is surprising. Then again Frank Stephenson is head of in house design so the effects this move has on Ferrari may be getting blown a bit out of proportion.

    Re: Pininfarina fires Ken Okuyama!!

    Quote:
    Koby said:
    So what can we infer from this press release? Was he moonlighting in other design tasks, or was he out partying with hookers and blow?

    Seems abrupt and hasty, and not a result of his work. Personally I think recent Ferrari design has been spot on so this is surprising. Then again Frank Stephenson is head of in house design so the effects this move has on Ferrari may be getting blown a bit out of proportion.



    It's hard to say. Why does anyone in a "hot seat" position all of a sudden leave? We'll have to wait for Ken's tell all book Stephenson has not been head of F's in house design since Feb. '05.

    Re: Pininfarina fires Ken Okuyama!!

    I can tell you what I know from Japan. He appeared in numerous TV shows talking about car designs and etc..., launched a line of sports watches, and etc under Ken Okuyama name or something. Re just could not resist to be conspicuous in doing his own business.It was a simple conflict of interest. Sounds like Ken is a guy with full of it though.

    Re: Pininfarina fires Ken Okuyama!!

    Quote:
    iyori said:
    I can tell you what I know from Japan. He appeared in numerous TV shows .. etc..., launched a line of sports watches, and etc under Ken Okuyama name



    That'll do it . Ferrari brand licensing people take 2nd tier generic non-auto consumer products and plaster it's name on them . Sounds like they didn't like their division's head design honcho encroaching on this ( sleazy ) turf.

     
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