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Phillip Romers 

Exterior Designer of the new Golf

I was fortunate to meet the exterior designer of the new Golf. Phillip, in his early 30s, started working for VW in 2006.

His work on the inception of the 7th generation golf started  4 years ago in late 2008. On the morning of 5th November 2009, his boss called him in to his office to announce that his design was chosen for the new Golf. Speaking to Phillip arouses great passion in this young designer:


DR: The MK7 is a further evolution of the Golf lineage. Tell me, is it easier designing a completely new car or a successor to the already well-known model?

PR: In my view it is always easier designing a new model. There were lots of challenges thrown at us not only to design the new generation but achieve new targets in weight reduction and fuel economy and ultimately benefits to our customers.

DR: When your design was announced 3 years ago, what did it feel like?

PR: It was a dream come true for me. I’ve always been interested in cars since a young age and tended to have a creative streak on me. I loved sketching and wanted to be a car designer one day.

DR: Did you get a bonus from your boss after your design was chosen?

PR: Head nodding from side to side……”yah yah there was something” without divulging more information and probably afraid of revealing too much to a foreign motoring journalist

DR: Who is rewarded better, the designer or the development  Engineer at VW?

PR: I would like to believe that it is us, the designers!

DR: What are the distinct features of the new design?

PR: There are numerous in fact. It starts with the movement of the front wheel further front(43 mm) to give a feeling of “premium dimension” due to the increase distance from the centre of the front wheel to the front doors. This also result in the bonnet becoming more horizontal and making the cabin position further back and more sportier. 

The C-pillar now sits on the rear wheel which adds to the premium look and gives that typical Golf look. The “shoulder” on the C-pillar has also been smoothened out.

DR: Not clear, what do you mean? (Inviting Phillip to sketch on a piece of paper what he meant and discreetly obtaining a souvenir of his art piece)

PR: Here let me explain.(Phillip proceeds to sketch on my notepad and with just a few brush strokes, it is done within seconds and explained)

DR: Can you autograph it as well?

PR: Sure!

Arne Leetz 

Head of Concept, Strategy & Visualization

DR: What does your job entail Arne?

AL: We are the interface between the Design and Engineering team.

DR: More like between the right brain and left?

AL: Yes, you can put it that way. This is where the real work begins, turning pen and paper work into physical 3D modelling.

DR: That’s kids’ stuff!

AL: Not when it’s perfection down to the very detail. We have to consider for example, that the new engines will be fitted on 50 different VW models or that there will be 500 applications of the engine alone. Now with extra legroom in the back, 30 litres more boot capacity and the many pioneering safety and technological features, we have to be very versatile in our approach. 

Ultimately it has to benefit the entire stakeholders within the product development team to appreciate a physical object in a solid form.

DR: Is it also related to the MQB? (VW’s shared modular construction of its transverse, front engine, front wheel drive platform)

AL: Exactly, we have to be mindful of VW future strategies, innovations and DNA. The cost of developing the shared platform for example will pay off in cheaper manufacturing cost down the road as it is designed to be used across the Audi A3 and other VW Group models.

DR: Phillip earlier did not deny that designers were paid more than Engineers. Can you elaborate?

AL: Are you an agent from HR?... (laughing and apologizing, that he is starting his presentation shortly).

Our Principal Consultant

dev b

Devindran draws upon his vast 24 years Motor industry experience and exposure to different brands. As Managing Director and Principal Consultant of his company, Devindran has the passion and knack for turning Dealerships fixed operations into profitable, performance oriented and a sustainable business pillar through his own style and approach to life.


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