Lincoln Design Boss Calls It Quits, Resigns From Company
David Woodhouse, who took on the role of director of design at Lincoln Motor Company in 2013 before gaining expanded duties in 2017, has resigned his post. No reason was given for his abrupt departure.
Woodhouse’s exit comes after the designer and his team finished work on revamping the brand’s SUV-heavy lineup and crafting a new model to draw the sales Lincoln so desperately craves.
In a Facebook post cited by Automotive News, the 50-year-old Woodhouse called his decision “difficult,” adding, “Ending a long-standing relationship with a corporation is just like ending a personal relationship multiplied by the number of wonderful friends and colleagues.”
A Lincoln spokesperson stated that Woodhouse left of his own accord.
Woodhouse’s time as design director saw Lincoln embrace its new mantra of quiet luxury, with all models adopting a new, Continental-esque grille and its utility vehicles donning understated yet elegant sheetmetal. The brand’s new midsize Aviator heads to dealers this summer. After that, the compact Corsair, looking very much like a baby Aviator, arrives to replace the MKC.
After withering on the full-size luxury vine for years, Lincoln’s redesigned-for-2018 Navigator helped earn the company some serious coin. Its distinctive sheetmetal allowed it to stand apart from the likes of Cadillac’s aging Escalade. (Woodhouse’s CV shows a brief stint at Cadillac of Europe in 1998, following his time at BMW.)
Arriving at Ford’s Premier Automotive Group in 1999, Woodhouse eventually sculpted several Lincoln concept vehicles before taking on the top design job at Lincoln. In 2017, CEO Jim Hackett named him director of global strategic design for Ford Motor Company, a title he held alongside his Lincoln role.
Barring family obligations or unrevealed criminality (there’s no evidence suggesting this!), Woodhouse’s departure from Lincoln likely precedes a new gig at a rival automaker. Time will tell where Woodhouse lands. For Lincoln’s sake, it’s a good thing he finished the brand-wide revamp before hitting the road.
[Images: Lincoln Motor Company, Tim Healey/TTAC]
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