In the autumn of 2014, NIO Chairman and Founder William Li began traveling between China and Europe to establish NIO's design team. After meetings with countless designers William sat down with Kris Tomasson in Munich.
At that time, Kris was the Head of Exterior Design for BMW i, and what was supposed to be an introductory conversation turned into a three-and-a-half-hour discussion.
Throughout their conversation, William and Kris saw eye-to-eye on design, the future of mobility, and the need for a change in the industry. The following spring, William invited Kris to visit Shanghai to understand Chinese culture and the country's automotive market.
The future of the electric car is in China — Kris Tomasson
Impressed with what Kris saw, it was clear to him that the future of the electric car is in China. It was during that trip Kris decided to accept the position as NIO's Vice President of Design.
NIO isn't just designing cars - NIO is designing a lifestyle. The designers worked from different locations initially, pooling their talents to create the hub of NIO's design efforts in Munich, eventually creating a beautiful and inspiring place to allow them to follow their passion and share the same vision NIO to create a better world together.
In the first 100 days, the NIO EP9's design was finalized along with the NIO ES8's exterior design, Kris and his team finalized the NIO brand name and colors and designed all the NextEV Formula E Team's livery. Kris said they worked four times faster than any previous work experiences, all while maintaining incredibly high-quality standards.
A True Global Design Experience
An alumnus of the world-renowned ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, Kris has built a successful career as a global design leader. Along with his experience at BMW, he's also designed at recognizable brands like Coca-Cola, Ford Motor Company, and Gulfstream Aerospace. At NIO, we collaborate between each of our offices to bring forth the consistent quality user experience expected of a premium lifestyle and automotive leader.
We are honored that the ArtCenter has asked Kris to be a keynote speaker in its fourth episode of the Virtual Car Classic on July 21, 2021.
If you’d like to attend this virtual event, please join here on July 21, 2021, at 9:00 AM PST.