Designer Sues Chery Over Job

A former Ford Motor Co. designer, Kenneth G. Grant Jr. is suing China’s Chery Automobile and Malcolm Bricklin’s Visionary Vehicles for breach of contract and unspecified damages.


Grant, a lead designer on the Mustang and Thunderbird when he worked for the Ford Motor Co. during the 1990s, before leaving to become a design consultant, said he was recruited earlier this year by the Chery and Visionary Vehicles joint venture to set up a design studio in theUnited States . Grant said he ended his other professional and business relationships to devote himself full time to Chery/Visionary, which used several of his drawings in presentations held in the U.S. and China .


In addition, Grant, with help from Chery/Visonary, established a Michigan limited-liability company in July to operate its U.S. design studio and rented office space. Grant was to be a 15-percent owner of the design studio company. In August, Chery also approved one of Grant’s auto designs for production.


However, on Sept. 6, Visionary Vehicles announced to Grant that Chery was canceling its plan for the U.S. design studio and terminating him. It was preparing instead to enter a venture to build a small car for DaimlerChrysler AG, Grant’s suit alleges.


Bricklin confirmed this week that Visionary Vehicle’s partnership with Chery had ended.

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