Earl Lucas, as you found out in part-one of his two-part interview, helped to put the Ford Taurus back in the game due to his great eye for design. And just when you thought you knew a lot about him, you may find out that there is more behind the man than car designs. Check out the final part of our two-part interview with Ford’s highest-ranking African American designer.
EBONY: Earl, when will you be returning to the states?
EL. The current plan is for me to return in January of 2014. However, I may be requested to stay a little longer.
And do you know your next assignment?
EL. The next assignment for me probably has not been decided, but I am sure that it will depend upon the success of my current global assignment. Programs at Ford are fast paced and senior management will select someone that is capable of handling growing markets. Daily, I work on improving my design skills, my relationship with co-workers and showing what can be done so as to prepare me for my next assignment.
EBONY: It’s one thing to see others driving the Taurus. However, we learned recently that your parents purchased a Ford Taurus. How did that make you feel?
EL. The dreams of a designer are centered on seeing the products they work on hit the market place, integrating our products into the hearts of our customers and bring in revenue for the company. I have been blessed in seeing a number of the products that I have worked in production. Learning who you are designing for and exceeding their expectations is still delightful to me today. However, when my mother told me that see bought a Ford Taurus, I was and still am very happy. Even thinking about this now brings a big smile to my face and warms my heart. It's like having your family so proud of your report card that they are willing to show everyone what their baby boy has done. Yes …. a very good feeling! My words are just inadequate in expressing my feelings.
EBONY: And for young African Americans who want to enter the automotive design field, what words of wisdom could you share?
EL.The advice I would give to any young African American that want to enter the field of design is to keep drawing, dreaming and keep a proper appreciation for our Heavenly Father. All things are possible through Him. Young people should be willing to work hard and understand that every dream does not happen overnight. The race is not given to the swift, but to those who are willing to endure. They should just keep swimming so to speak. Concentrate on the gifts that you have and don't worry about what you don't have.
EBONY: And as a side note, we hear that you have some outside interests like designing clothes. Will this be your second career? Who is your favorite clothes designer and why?
EL. I love designing period! Lately, fashion design has had a big pull on me do to the fact that I now live in London. Fashion makes such a large statement about who we are or better yet, who we would like to be. Cars and clothes go hand-and-hand. For example, in your car, depending on which one you drive, you can create a different persona. Fashion design does the exact same thing, but the story stays with you the entire time, in and out of your vehicle. My plan for fashion, for now, is to just have fun with it. Just to let you know, I am creating a collection of drawing for a new book due out soon titled "Project Diva". Check out earllucas.blogspot.com to stay connected with me.
Jeff Fortson is an auto analyst and editor of a car-buying website for women and minorities. To learn more about his popular car-buying workshop and/or to price a new-vehicle, drive on over to www.JeffCars.com. Follow him http://twitter.com/#!/JeffCars/.