MiB: Paul Wraith, Chief Designer for Ford

This week, we speak with Paul Wraith, Chief Designer for Ford, and over the past several years, the Chief Designer for the new 2021 Ford Bronco.

Wraith discusses the challenges of redesigning an iconic brand like the Ford Bronco. They began the process by taking Ford’s design chief, Moray Callum (and Wraith’s boss) stock 1976 Bronco and digitally scanned it as a reference point into a CAD computer, to use as a frame of reference for proportions, size, and shape. They skipped the clay model process and went from computer designed to full size vehicle made with packing materials.

The goal was to make a truck that could go anywhere; they seem to have hit their mark: Outdoor magazine calls the new Bronco “the Most Capable SUV Ever. The base 2- and 4-door versions go for $28,500 and $33,200; option packages can send the Bronco up to $60k.

He discusses the 5 different target customers in mind when his team began the project — something very unusual in new car development. These were varied users of both genders, different ages, demographics and wide range of regular usages for the vehicle.

Wraith explains how some of the features in the original Bronco — eyelets in the fender corners, Bolts with Bronco bashed into their heads — were carried over to the new car. Even thought “the cutting room is very deep with broken dreams” they managed to get a lot of very fascinating design options with a high level of modularity.

A list of his favorite books are here; A transcript of our conversation is available here.

You can stream and download our full conversation, including the podcast extras on iTunes, Spotify, Overcast, Google, Bloomberg, and Stitcher. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here.

Be sure to check out our Masters in Business next week with Claudia Sahm, former Section Chief at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, and Senior Economist at the Council of Economic Advisers for the Obama Administration.




Paul Wraith’s Favorite Books

21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari


At Home: A Short History of Private Life by Bill Bryson

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