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The mind behind the look of much of the modern Ford global range is retiring. Martin Smith, Head of Ford Design in Europe, will give up his position on July 1 and will leave the company altogether at the end of the year. He will be replaced by current Strategic Concepts Group leader Joel Piaskowski (pictured above).
Smith has led Ford of Europe design for the past 10 years, and he was partially responsible for the brand's Kinetic Design language with a large grille and swept-back headlights found on the Focus, Fiesta and C-Max, as well as several other vehicles abroad. After stepping down on July 1 until his retirement at the end of 2014, Smith will work on a project to decide the future direction of the company's look with Moray Callum, its vice president of design.
Piaskowski already has some impressive credentials in terms of automotive design as well. He joined Ford in 2010 as director of exterior design and led the teams responsible for the 2015 Ford Mustang and next-generation F-150. He was also previously design director at Ford Asia Pacific. Before working at the Blue Oval, Piaskowski held positions at Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai and General Motors. Scroll down to read the complete announcement of this changing of the guard.
A California lawsuit over the fuel economy claims for the 2013 Ford C-Max was first reported back in December. Based on the numerous reports we've heard of disgruntled owners failing to get their car's EPA fuel economy ratings on the C-Max and 2013 Fusion Hybrid, we suspected there would be more to this story. The Detroit News is reporting that two California law firms are combining their lawsuits against Ford on this matter for "false and misleading" claims.
The article states that there are hundreds of C-Max and Fusion Hybrid owners who have joined the lawsuit, but the issue isn't limited to customers. In December, Consumer Reports extensively tested both the Fusion Hybrid and C-Max and found that both hybrids performed significantly worse than their EPA claims. This all comes just a few months after Hyundai and Kia took the unprecedented step of lowering the fuel economy ratings for all of their 2012 and 2013 model-year vehicles.
One of the perks of reviewing all manner of cars and trucks is that we're exposed to all the different infotainment systems. Whether Cadillac's CUE, Chrysler's UConnect, BMW's iDrive or MyFord Touch, we sample each and every infotainment system on the market.
Not surprisingly, some are better than others. It seems consumers have come to a similar consensus, with Consumer Reports claiming that Ford and Lincoln, Cadillac and Honda offer the worst user infotainment experiences. Not surprisingly, you won't find much argument among the Autoblog staff.
Take a look below to see just what it is about the latest batch of infotainment systems that grinds CR's gears. After that, scroll down into Comments and let us know if you agree with the mag's views.