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Top Designers Debate the Future of the Automobile at 2009 Los Angeles Auto Show

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Design LA Panel - Tomorrow's Cars: Practical Transportation or Revolutionary Design?

LOS ANGELES - November 11, 2009: Are cars becoming mundane transportation or does the future hold an exciting and innovative new era in auto design? This is one of many questions being addressed by a panel of prominent auto designers during the Los Angeles Auto Show on Dec. 3.

Daniel Lyons, Newsweek's Technology Editor, will moderate a revealing discussion with a renowned group of designers including Ian Callum, director of design at Jaguar Cars; Derek Jenkins, director of design at Mazda North American Operations and Franz von Holzhausen, chief designer at Tesla Motors. Lyons will examine with this notable group of automotive design leaders how new market conditions, tougher environmental regulations and changing consumer preferences will ultimately impact what consumers drive in the future.

During this special Newsweek presented forum, controversial topics surrounding the future of automotive design will be debated. A few of the many questions to be asked include: Will the quest for better fuel economy make all cars look like aerodynamic variations of each other, or will new technology allow for design breakthroughs? Will the visceral experience of driving be lost forever or simply replaced with a different but equally stirring experience? The panel promises to be an honest and eye-opening look into the future of the automobile.

"Ultimately auto designers need to overcome market challenges with innovative design solutions," says Chuck Pelly, director of Design Los Angeles and partner in The Design Academy, Inc. "The automotive industry is at a turning point with environmental and economic conditions on one side and breakthrough technology on the other, so it will be fascinating to see how these design leaders envision the future."

"The panel discussion is part of the of the Sixth Annual Design Los Angeles automotive designer's conference taking place during the LA Auto Show's second press day and then kicking off the 10 day consumer show from Dec 4-13, 2009.

About the Panelists

Ian Callum, Director of Design at Jaguar Cars
Acknowledged as one of the world's foremost design talents, Ian Callum has been designing cars for top automakers including Ford, Mazda and Volvo for more than three decades. A truly global designer, he is perhaps most famed for his involvement in the design of the Aston Martin DB7 and Aston Martin Vanquish. Callum joined Jaguar in 1999 and is credited with leading the next-generation of design direction for Jaguar including the 2006 Jaguar XK, the 2008 XF and the latest version the XJ.

Derek Jenkins, Director of Design, Mazda North American Operations
As director of design, Derek Jenkins oversees a staff of 25, which pushes creative boundaries as they develop advanced ideas for Mazda's next generations of vehicles. In his previous position as chief of design for Volkswagen Group North America, Jenkins was responsible for numerous concept and production vehicles including the Audi A2, A8, Volkswagen Scirocco concept, the Microbus design study and the half-car, half-motorcycle GX3 concept revealed at the 2006 Los Angeles Auto Show.

Franz von Holzhausen, Chief Designer at Tesla Motors
Franz von Holzhausen serves as chief designer of Tesla Motors, Inc. and is responsible for leading Tesla Motors into the highly competitive world of electric vehicles, in addition to driving its design direction. Von Holzhausen previously served as director of design at Mazda Research and Development, where he oversaw the design and development of all concept and production vehicles for Mazda North America, such as the acclaimed Nagare and Furai concept cars.

About the Moderator Daniel Lyons, Technology Editor at Newsweek
Dan Lyons is Newsweek's Technology Editor and the creator of a leading technology blog, The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs. Over the past 25 years has written for a wide range of publications including Forbes, The New York Times Magazine, GQ and many technology trade publications. Lyons is also the author of an award-winning collection of short stories called "The Last Good Man" and two novels, "Dog Days" and "Options: The Secret Life of Steve Jobs."