David Hilton has been appointed Head of Exterior Design for Bentley Motors, based in the UK. The super-luxury brand – owned by the Volkswagen Group – is headed by CEO Wolfgang Durheimer, who is also in charge of Bugatti design development.
US-born Hilton replaces Raul Pires in Crewe, Cheshire, after he left Bentley at the end of 2011 to join VW-owned Italdesign. He will report directly to Dirk van Braeckel, Bentley’s Director of Design and Styling.
“With such vast experience and creative design talent, David will be a huge asset to the team at Crewe,” said van Braeckel. “His proven creative excellence will undoubtedly help us build on our current highly successful model line-up and enhance the appeal of Bentley cars to our customers world-wide.”
Hilton added, "I am very excited and honored to help develop the top crown jewels of the VW Group. Both Brands have aggressive plans for the future, thus making an amazing journey to join."
Hilton has over 20 years’ automotive design experience having worked with a wide variety of global brands. The University of Cincinnati and CCS graduate started his career with Ford in its Detroit Advanced Design Studio in 1991 before moving to VW Autolatina in Brazil. Following this, Hilton worked at Ford for many years in both Detroit and Germany as well as a spell with Mazda in Japan. During his time as Chief Designer at Ford Racing he was responsible for the 2002 Focus RS.
For the last 12 years Hilton has been running his successful Design firm Motorcity Europe, working with major OEMs on projects including: the Spectre-MC1 Supercar, concepts for Hyundai-Kia, trucks for TATA, Design support for Mazda, McLaren, Nissan, plus exterior design for the 2007 Car of the Year S-MAX.
When asked what will be the future of Motorcity Europe, Hilton had this to offer: “I am looking for a strong minded Designer or Group who would want to take MCE over! Most of the ground work is done, there is potential for growth, and the company would be an easy transition mechanism for anyone who wants to run an Independent Design business.”
An announcement regarding Hilton's further roles within the group is expected soon.