Franz Von Holzhausen Brings A Clean Slate to Tesla Design

February 9, 2010

A few weeks ago, High Gear Media welcomed our newest writer to the fold--Bruce Richter, who won a Tesla Roadster test drive by writing about his personal experience with cars. This week we're bringing you two stories from Bruce--his own Tesla road test, and later this week, a one-on-one interview with Tesla design chief Franz von Holzhausen. Think you'd like to be the next Bruce Richter? Sign up to write about cars for High Gear Media, and stay tuned--our next big contest is coming soon.

"Clean slate."

Now there's a relative term for you. Think about it, how clean are most clean slates really? Especially in the automotive industry?

Let's just say, they don't get much cleaner than the one handed to Franz von Holzhausen when he accepted the position as Tesla's Chief Designer.  Which explains his first reaction after walking into Tesla on day one: "Wow, we can do anything!"

But it's never quite that simple, as Franz explained to me when I had the good fortune of sitting down with him at Tesla's pristine Palo Alto assembly facility and showroom.

This interview with Franz, by the way, was just part of my prize for winning High Gear Media's writing contest in mid-January. A grand tour by Tesla VP of Communications Ricardo Reyes kicked off the day and the 200-mile Roadster Sport test drive was yet to come.

To give me a little insight into "Why Franz?" he began by explaining a bit of his background.  "I graduated from Art Center Pasadena, but part of my time was over in Switzerland. That's when I got access to the whole European community. And for me, that kind of transformed my design sensibility - learning a little bit more about the purity of the Euro aesthetic."

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