A car symbolising progressive, considered evolution. The Peugeot 308 officially debuting at the 2007 edition of the Frankfurt Motor Show – the French marque’s new C segment – perfectly embodies a process of gradual transition lasting five years, which culminated in early July this year.
The year was 2002 and Robert Peugeot, faced with the knowledge that Gerard Welter, the mainstay of Peugeot design for over forty years, was to leave his directorship within a few years, opted for a soft changeover.
In other terms, not a sudden replacement, supplanting Welter from one day to the next with a successor sourced externally or from within Peugeot ranks, but a gradual handover, to make full use of his experience and to pass on as much of his wisdom as possible to the new director.
Jérôme Gallix, who had already worked with Peugeot from 1989 to 1995 before founding the Artware Design studio, which he headed until 2002, was chosen as Gerard Welter’s successor.
Now, after almost five years of working together, Gallix says: “Robert Peugeot asked me to come back to the design centre in 2002, with the idea of a soft transition already in mind – a transition perfectly expressed in the 308, which truly represents both myself and Welter.”
Jérôme Gallix’s first job upon his arrival was of vital importance to this succession as it was he who, over these six years, set up, fine-tuned and nurtured the virtual design system which now forms the foundations of all the work done at the style centre.
The article continues in Auto & Design no. 166