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Franz von Holzhausen
Picture of Franz von Holzhausen (front) seated in an office with Elon Musk
Holzhausen in 2008
Born (1968-05-10) May 10, 1968 (age 55)
Simsbury, Connecticut, United States
Nationality American
Education Syracuse University (1986-1988),
ArtCenter College of Design (1988-1992, B.S. in Transportation Design) [1]
Occupation(s)Chief Designer, Tesla Inc.
Known forChief Designer 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]
Children2 [3]

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, and Semi, and the unveiled but not-yet-released Cybertruck and second-generation Tesla Roadster. [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 designs for the Microbus and 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]

Franz von Holzhausen at the unveiling of the Tesla Cybertruck

In 2008, he went to work for Tesla. He is known for designing Tesla vehicles, including the Model S, Model 3, Model X, [13] Model Y, [14] Semi, [15] and the unveiled but not-yet-released Cybertruck, and second-generation Tesla Roadster. [16]

Personal life

Franz grew up in a household which was influenced by design; his father was an industrial designer. [17] An internship with his father's company introduced him to the ArtCenter College of Design where he eventually got his degree. [18]

Franz von Holzhausen is married to Vicki von Holzhausen. Franz met Vicki (née Vlachakis) when they were both automotive designers at General Motors. [19] Vicki is now a fashion designer running the "von Holzhausen" label focused on vegan leather products. [3]


  1. ^ Peters, Emma (August 4, 2015). "Five things we know about Tesla's elusive chief designer". Yahoo Finance. Retrieved 7 November 2020.
  2. ^ "After jobs at Audi and Mercedes-Benz, Vicki von Holzhausen is redesigning fashion accessories in a big way". Los Angeles Times. 2017-09-14. Retrieved 2020-12-27.
  3. ^ a b Segran, Elizabeth (2021-03-19). "Tesla and Mercedes-Benz were just the warm-up act for this design power couple". Fast Company. Retrieved 2021-06-13.
  4. ^ "Designer Franz von Holzhausen: Courageous visionary". Archyde. 24 July 2021. Retrieved 27 July 2021.
  5. ^ "Exclusive: Franz von Holzhausen joins Tesla Motors". 2008. Archived from the original on 2008-08-09. Retrieved 2016-03-19.
  6. ^ Loveday, Eric (2009-04-30). "Tesla Model S Designer Franz von Holzhausen Reveals How Perfectionism Drives Design". Retrieved 2016-03-19.
  7. ^ My Tesla Adventure (2018-05-16), Franz talks about the future of Tesla, archived from the original on 2021-12-21, retrieved 2019-07-10
  8. ^ Loh, Edward (2012-10-01). "Designers on Design: Franz von Holzhausen on the McLaren P1". Archived from the original on 2016-03-26. Retrieved 2016-03-19.
  9. ^ "MAZDA DESIGNER VON HOLZHAUSEN BOLTS FOR TESLA". Autoweek. 4 August 2008. Retrieved 28 August 2018.
  10. ^ a b Nagy, Bob (2006-09-26). "First Drive: Mazda Kabura Concept". Motor Trend. Retrieved 2020-12-28.
  11. ^ "Franz von Holzhausen Joins Tesla Motors as Chief Designer". Tesla. 20 April 2010. Retrieved 28 August 2018.
  12. ^ "Mazda Furai - Kelley Blue Book Interviews Franz Von Holzhausen - YouTube". 2008-06-24. Archived from the original on 2021-12-21. Retrieved 2020-12-28.
  13. ^ "Detroit 2013: Tesla's Family Will Grow". 2013-01-15. Archived from the original on 2013-10-12. Retrieved 2015-04-12.
  14. ^ "Why Tesla Model Y 3rd Row Is Key To It Becoming The Best Selling Vehicle In The World". 2019-03-16.
  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 2022-12-02.
  16. ^ Mark Vaughn (17 November 2017). "Tesla Roadster Sounds Incredible But Will It Be That Good?". AutoWeek.
  17. ^ Walford, Lynn (Nov 7, 2022). "Creating the Cybertruck & Vehicles that Change Lives - Tesla Designer Franz von Holzhausen". The NewsMarket. Retrieved 2023-05-21.
  18. ^ Afnan, Salman Ahmed (2023-04-30). "The Tesla Master Designer: Turning Musk's Vision to Life". Tech Inspection. Retrieved 2023-05-21.
  19. ^ McClain, James (2022-05-15). "Tesla's Chief Designer Pays $51 Million for Adam Levine's Palisades Estate". DIRT. Retrieved 2023-05-21.

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