Franz von Holzhausen

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Franz von Holzhausen
Picture of Franz von Holzhausen seated in an office
Holzhausen in 2008
Born (1968-05-10) May 10, 1968 (age 55)
Simsbury, Connecticut, United States
EducationSyracuse University (1986–1988),
ArtCenter College of Design (1988–1992, BS in Transportation Design)[1]
Occupation(s)Chief Designer, Tesla Inc.
Known forDesigner of Tesla Model S, Tesla Model 3, Tesla Model X, Tesla Model Y, Tesla Roadster (2020), Tesla Semi, Tesla Cybertruck, Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky
SpouseVicki von Holzhausen[2]

Franz von Holzhausen (born May 10, 1968) is an American[4] vehicle designer. Since 2008, he has been in charge of design at Tesla, Inc.[5] He led design for the Tesla Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Semi, Cybertruck and Tesla Roadster (second generation).[6][7] Prior to Tesla, he worked in design at Mazda, General Motors, and Volkswagen.


In 1992, von Holzhausen started his career with Volkswagen, where he worked on the design for the New Beetle concept project, known as "Concept One," under design lead J Mays.[8]

In 2000, he moved to General Motors as a design manager, where he worked on the Saturn Sky and Pontiac Solstice.[9]

In 2005, he took a role at Mazda, where he was chief of design.[10] He led the designs of the Mazda Kabura concept car that debuted at the 2006 North American International Auto Show and of the Mazda Furai concept car that was unveiled at the 2008 North American International Auto Show, both in Detroit.[11][12][10]

In 2008, he went to work for Tesla, where he led the design of vehicles including the Model S, Model 3, Model X,[13] Model Y,[14] Semi,[15] second-generation Tesla Roadster,[16] and Cybertruck. He became known to a wide audience as the result of inadvertently smashing the windows of the Cybertruck during an unveiling event.[17][18]

Personal life[edit]

Von Holzhausen's father was an industrial designer.[19] An internship with his father's company introduced him to the ArtCenter College of Design where he eventually got his degree.[20]

Von Holzhausen is married to Vicki von Holzhausen (née Vlachakis), whom he met when they were both automotive designers at General Motors.[21]


  1. ^ Peters, Emma (August 4, 2015). "Five things we know about Tesla's elusive chief designer". Yahoo Finance. Retrieved November 7, 2020.
  2. ^ "After jobs at Audi and Mercedes-Benz, Vicki von Holzhausen is redesigning fashion accessories in a big way". Los Angeles Times. September 14, 2017. Retrieved December 27, 2020.
  3. ^ Segran, Elizabeth (March 19, 2021). "Tesla and Mercedes-Benz were just the warm-up act for this design power couple". Fast Company. Retrieved June 13, 2021.
  4. ^ "Designer Franz von Holzhausen: Courageous visionary". Archyde. July 24, 2021. Retrieved July 27, 2021.
  5. ^ "Exclusive: Franz von Holzhausen joins Tesla Motors". 2008. Archived from the original on August 9, 2008. Retrieved March 19, 2016.
  6. ^ Loveday, Eric (April 30, 2009). "Tesla Model S Designer Franz von Holzhausen Reveals How Perfectionism Drives Design". Retrieved March 19, 2016.
  7. ^ My Tesla Adventure (May 16, 2018), Franz talks about the future of Tesla, archived from the original on December 21, 2021, retrieved July 10, 2019
  8. ^ Loh, Edward (October 1, 2012). "Designers on Design: Franz von Holzhausen on the McLaren P1". Archived from the original on March 26, 2016. Retrieved March 19, 2016.
  9. ^ "MAZDA DESIGNER VON HOLZHAUSEN BOLTS FOR TESLA". Autoweek. August 4, 2008. Retrieved August 28, 2018.
  10. ^ a b Nagy, Bob (September 26, 2006). "First Drive: Mazda Kabura Concept". Motor Trend. Retrieved December 28, 2020.
  11. ^ "Franz von Holzhausen Joins Tesla Motors as Chief Designer". Tesla. April 20, 2010. Retrieved August 28, 2018.
  12. ^ "Mazda Furai – Kelley Blue Book Interviews Franz Von Holzhausen – YouTube". June 24, 2008. Archived from the original on December 21, 2021. Retrieved December 28, 2020.
  13. ^ "Detroit 2013: Tesla's Family Will Grow". January 15, 2013. Archived from the original on October 12, 2013. Retrieved April 12, 2015.
  14. ^ "Why Tesla Model Y 3rd Row Is Key To It Becoming The Best Selling Vehicle In The World". March 16, 2019.
  15. ^ Pettitt, Jeniece. "Tesla's chief designer for the Cybertruck on working with Elon Musk and how his favorite design is one he can't talk about yet". CNBC. Retrieved December 2, 2022.
  16. ^ Mark Vaughn (November 17, 2017). "Tesla Roadster Sounds Incredible But Will It Be That Good?". AutoWeek.
  17. ^ Vincent, James (November 25, 2019). "Elon Musk explains why Tesla's Cybertruck windows smashed during presentation". The Verge. Retrieved August 10, 2023.
  18. ^ Mak, Aaron (November 22, 2019). "Here Is What Will and Won't Break Tesla's New Cybertruck". Slate. ISSN 1091-2339. Retrieved August 10, 2023.
  19. ^ Walford, Lynn (November 7, 2022). "Creating the Cybertruck & Vehicles that Change Lives – Tesla Designer Franz von Holzhausen". The NewsMarket. Retrieved May 21, 2023.
  20. ^ Afnan, Salman Ahmed (April 30, 2023). "The Tesla Master Designer: Turning Musk's Vision to Life". Tech Inspection. Retrieved May 21, 2023.
  21. ^ McClain, James (May 15, 2022). "Tesla's Chief Designer Pays $51 Million for Adam Levine's Palisades Estate". DIRT. Retrieved May 21, 2023.

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