SAIC Motor : Tony Williams-Kenny appointed as Design Director

Adam Sloman 

  SAIC Motor’s new Design Director, Tony Williams-Kenny (first left), at the SMTC UK opening in 2010  

Owen Ready of Car Design News reports that SAIC Motor UK Technical Centre Limited’s (SMTC UK’s) Design Director, Tony Williams-Kenny has recently been appointed as immediate parent company SAIC Motor Passenger Vehicle Company Limited’s new Design Director – he replaces Ken Ma who has joined one of China’s other leading OEMs, Chang’an Automobile (Group) Company Limited, as Head of Design.   

Williams-Kenny, who has a BA (Hons) in Transport Design and an MA in Automotive Design from Coventry University, worked as a Designer for Mitsubishi Europe Design in Germany before joining MG Rover Group Limited as Design Manager in 2000. However, since moving to SMTC UK, he has worked on the Roewe 550 and, more recently, overseen the design of the MG6, the MG ZERO Concept and the production version of the latter, the MG3.    

AROnline believes that the appointment of Tony Williams-Kenny may well be the first time that a European Designer has been given such a senior design role at one of the major Chinese OEMs – a role in which he will be responsible for overseeing the development of the next generation of MG and Roewe models including the upcoming MG7/Roewe 750 replacement.


  1. Introducing the iChinless from Apple…

    Still TW-K can’t do a worse job than they are doing at the moment – a four year old with 300kg of DUPLO bricks could come up with something more desirable to be fair.

    Good luck to him – I think he’s going to need it.

  2. Yeah, TW-K rocks. The MG3 is a brilliant piece of design and much better than the City Rover – even if he does look the tiniest bit like Gareth.

  3. TW-K’s appointment as SAIC Motor’s Design Director might actually spark some more modern European styles than what’s been appearing lately – not just at MG but throughout the SAIC Motor empire including SsangYong etc..

    Hmm… that’s a thought, an MG SUV…

  4. I say give the guys at MG Birmingham chance – ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’ and all that. The continuous knocking is becoming a bit tedious and the very thing that helped to kill BL/ARG/MGR off last time round.

    I reckon that, if there is a glimmer of hope that we will see MGs rolling off the production line at Longbridge in the future – whether en masse or more specialised, then that will be a good thing. It will provide valuable, proper jobs for the West Midlands and I’m all for that.

  5. @Ross Armstrong
    SAIC Motor Corporation Limited originally acquired a 51.3% stake in SsangYong Motor Company Limited in late 2004. However, when SsangYong Motor went into Court-supervised receivership in February, 2009, SAIC Motor lost management control and, as of July, 2010, the company’s stake in SsangYong Motor had reportedly been reduced to just 3.79%.

    SsangYong Motor still remains in receivership but Indian SUV manufacturer Mahindra and Mahindra Limited signed an MoU agreeing to buy a controlling stake in the company for US$468.4m in August, 2010 and was expected to make full payment earlier this week. Mahindra and Mahindra Limited’s President – Automotive Sector, Pawan Goenka, recently said: “We expect the Court to withdraw completely by the end of March. We will have full management control thereafter.” See: INDIA: M&M closer to owning SsangYong,, 1st February, 2011.

  6. @Jemma
    It’s interesting that the continuous and apparently, at least in this case, groundless knocking of anything BMC>MG-related continues unabated irrespective of the ownership of the company or even the opportunity to see any of its products in the metal.

    I’m not suggesting that this should be a forum for the unquestioning but there seems to be little point in such unjustified criticism.

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