Skip to comments.American Success Story - The Designer of the new Mustang is...Vietnamese!
Posted on 11/22/2004 12:19:23 PM PST by frankenMonkey
Ford Motor Co. said Friday that its head of advanced product development Chris Theodore will retire December 1, to be succeeded in the job by Hua Thai-Tang who led the development of the 2005 Mustang.
Hau Thai-Tang, 38, consolidates Theodore's job with that of the Special Vehicle Team (SVT). Thai-Tang will report to Martens. John Coletti continues as director of the Special Vehicle Team and will report to Thai-Tang. Besides the new Mustang, Thai-Tang developed the special edition Bullitt Mustang off the previous vehicle.
It was a white Mustang fastback with racing decals, probably a 1968 or 1969, that captured the imagination of the man who would become the 2005 Ford Mustang's chief engineer. Hau Thai-Tang had never seen a Mustang before, even though it was the early 1970s and he was maybe six or seven years old. "It was big, powerful, accessible," Thai-Tang says. "In that context, it stands for everything that's great in America."
Thai-Tang saw that first Mustang when his grandfather, a prominent Vietnamese businessman, arranged a private tour of a U.S. military base for him. But he didn't go home from the tour dreaming of working on Mustangs. He didn't know then that his family would someday escape Saigon as it fell to the Communist north. "My aspiration was to own a car."
In Saigon, Vietnam, where Thai-Tang spent his early years, most cars on the road in the former French colony were French. Thai-Tang's knowledge of big, powerful American cars came from Life and Time magazines his mother brought home from her job with the Saigon branch of the Chase Manhattan Bank.
Thai-Tang's family came to the U.S. in 1975, eventually settling in Staten Island, New York. The move to the U.S. raised Thai-Tang's aspirations, and he went after a job in the auto industry. He earned his engineering degree from Carnegie Mellon University (for which he recruits graduates for Ford Motor Co.) and an MBA from the University of Michigan. Thai-Tang has worked for the automaker for more than 16 years, including a stint in 1993 on Nigel Mansell's CART team and a tour in Europe from 1995-1997 working on the Scorpio.
I love these kind of stories! Only in America....
I just test drove an '05 GT on Saturday. Very impressive machine. Hats off to Thai-Tang
I think he's related to the Wisconsin hunter hunter.
Well the 2005 looks like a small 1971. Dodn't get me wrong I like it, but it's not exactly original or anything.
I think that was the point.
That's not nice.
Yeah, not like it was designed from the ground up. It's very similar to the first gen frames.
I doubt those who "celbrate diversity" are cheering the creation of another evil, fossil fuel eating, symbol
of American "excess".
but I am.
I know. I'm not very nice.
Robert S. McNamara
Upon his discharge from the air force, McNamara joined the Ford Motor Company. He was elected as a director of the company in 1957, and president of the company in 1960. At the request of President-elect John F. Kennedy, McNamara agreed to serve as Secretary of Defense of the United States, a position he held from 1961 until 1968. He became president of the World Bank Group of Institutions in April of 1968, retiring in 1981.
A fine bit of news for a grey monday.
Nope, it was his rendition of "Feerings" in a Karaoke bar.
Geez... This guy must be wandering off the reservation according to Jesse!!! Someone needs to stop the guy (/sarcasm off)
The designer of the new Mustang is...
the designer of the old Mustang.
The new one looks OK (For a Ford), but the exterior is little more than a ride on the way-back machine. It's a '66 fastback with a slightly smoother hip line.
The Vietnamese tend to contribute while the Hmong are another deal entirely. Hmong are the crazy hillbilly, Deliverance types, from that area. Laos actually.
What connection are you thinking of?
With a mullet too!
What point? There was a point?
IMHO, the new car has all the best styling cues from the classic Mustangs. There's a bit of '67-'68 -especially on the inside - blended with the '69-'70 Boss and Mach 1 cars. It'll be interesting to see whether Ford lets Carroll Shelby have a whack at an in-house "tuner" hotrod version, as has been rumored.
That's what I thought.
The exterior looks would be the end of the similarity. All this retro stuff is getting to me. That Metrosexual chevy truck is especially ugly.
There are a few here that bother me.
Steve Kirsch and Carnegie Melon
McNamara to Ford Motors to World Bank to Soros.
I don't know. Maybe I just need more coffee.
OK then J Mays is not original.
Heh. You landed on the point and still missed it!
Ramius - new mustang ping.
It is very reminiscent of the 65-67 Mustangs, which is why I love it. I've owned a number of early models, and have been waiting for a return to the design roots.
I have heard that there is a Cobra version on tap for '06, I'm seriously thinking of risking divorce for that one....
That's the whole idea.
Instead of looking like a computer generated, back talking, computer chip on wheels (which, of course it really IS); it's intended to bring back the kick of driving an affordable but sporty car.
It's a Pony car again if only in the minds of buyers and 9 year old kids looking at pictures of them for the first time
I've now seen a couple on the freeways and they DO have the look that was missing in the past and blown on so many other 'retro' drives.
I love the retro look in newer cars. Hell, I wouldn't mind if they just re-released the entire 60s lineup as their new model year. Older cars had style and class. The newer ones for the most part are poorly designed plastic clunkers with grey plastic interiors molded to look like fake leather. Someone from the 60s who saw the real cars of the future would probably either projectile vomit or have a stroke laughing that someone might buy that junk someday.
Wasn't Lee Iacocca the father of the Mustang?
There are quite a few vintage (pre-1975) Mustangs, GTOs, Chevelles, and other classic muscle cars on the streets of Saigon. Leftovers from the days when servicemen and civilians could transport vehicles there courtesy of Uncle Sam. And somewhat like Cuba, the absence of road salts and inclement weather seems to preserve them.
Also notable is that the NVA seized every single Jeep from every U.S. base, and you see a lot of those as well in perfect working order. You can even buy a classic O.D. Jeep from one of the local restoration shops in Saigon.
No more wars for engineers?
Totally uncalled for. Do you need to know why?
Did you hear about the brawl at the Piston's game? ; )
Also, this guy must be smart...and I know Ford does a lot of recruiting from U of Michigan and they usually pick the very best.
On the other hand, I really don't care for McNamara and that other fellow you mentioned (Soros) makes me downright nervous.
No, but you can tell me anyway, since you don't like my sense of humor.
For the same reason that your father may or may not be a white racist serial murderer.
Lee Iacocca endorsed John Kerry.
I think that was the point to make it look like the classic.
I'd like a new Mustang too. But I'd have to keep my 02 Yellow Ranger, Edge, Extended Cab. For some reason, chicks including my wife, (freeper Laura Earl), dig it!
but he was