Designer Hakan Saracoglu, formerly of Porsche, has taken up a position at Chery Automobile as its design director, reports say. Saracoglu, 47, heads a 30-strong team at Chery’s design centre in Shanghai to churn out new concepts, from sedans to SUVs.
We know Chery perhaps best for the inexpensive QQ city car (pictured); however Saracoglu told Bloomberg: “Chery is not just QQ, we’re going to change that. The company is redefining itself. Chery is standing for value, for design and gaining customer confidence. That’s where we want to go.”
Saracoglu began his career at Ford’s offices in Cologne, where he worked on models such as the Focus and Mondeo. The Turkish-born German national worked at Porsche for 15 years; while there, he had a hand in designing the exteriors for models such as the 918 Spyder, Boxster and Cayman.
Other Chinese carmakers that have hired foreign designers in recent times include Great Wall Motor (Andreas Deufel from Mercedes-Benz), Geely (Peter Horbury from Volvo), Brilliance (Dimitri Vicedomini from Pininfarina) and Beijing Automotive Group (Ferrari Daytona designer Leonardo Fioravanti).
Salaries for foreign automotive engineers in China are triple that in the US and Europe, Automotive News Europe reports, citing research unit Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. When asked how much of a pay increase he was offered to leave Porsche, Saracoglu said, “I cannot comment on that. Let’s say I’m not unhappy.”