Laurens van den Acker, Renault
There are detail designers, and then there are big-picture visionaries. Renault’s Laurens van den Acker tends to the latter. “Products on their own are important but not enough,” he says. “We need to change our brand. It’s why we stayed in Formula 1. If we didn’t have F1 we would be just like any other generalist manufacturer, but here we are competing against Mercedes and Ferrari and McLaren.
“Image is a collection of many pieces,” he says of Renault’s chess game strategy. His delivery of the Renault EZ autonomous design study (above) was one of the highlights at Paris this year and set an emphatic and achingly desirable template for luxury driverless transport. Van den Acker is looking at the long game. “Sooner or later the customer will wake up to us.”