Ramon Ginah is the new interior design director at Great Wall Motors, China. He joined the crew of the Chinese brand after spending more than decade with Alfa Romeo. At his prior company, Ginah has been involved with major projects including cabins of the 4C concept, Giulietta, Giulia, SUV and New Duetto.
After earning his degree from Delft University, he did internships at Donkervoort and Alfa Romeo. He has been able to spill out his creative juices across various companies, like Hunter Douglas, Zagato, Fiat International to name a few. Lately, we had a chance to interview him, which goes as follows,
TechieTonics: You’ve been into car designing for quite some time now. How did you get started with your career?
Ramon Ginah: During my study, Industrial Design Engineering in Delft, I choose for my specialization in Automotive Design, which always has been my passion. My first internship I did in Donkervoort,a small Dutch OEM car company, My second I did in Alfa Romeo, and my thesis in Zagato. After my Graduation, I got a job offer from Fiat, which I accepted.
TechieTonics: Who would you say are your design influences and your favorite designers?
Ramon Ginah: I don’t have any specific design influences and favorite designers, but I can say that I always try to get inspired by designers who are in not in the design world, but e.g., jewellery and fashion world.
TechieTonics: While sketching a new car, do you have to think years ahead to what rival designs might look like?
Ramon Ginah: Not what rivals look like, but what strategy they have, and what the client wants. It is not about creating something similar to the rivals, but creating something ‘special’ for the client.
TechieTonics: If you are asked to re-vamp the existing car models let’s say Giulietta, Giulia, SUV or New Duetto, what would your approach be. Is it architecture or nature?
Ramon Ginah: A balance between the two.
TechieTonics: Can you tell us something about the designing DNA of Alfa Romeo especially the compact and mid-size cars that you think would compete in their segments as being premium Italian sports cars?
Ramon Ginah: The strength of Italian Design, and in specific Alfa Romeo, has always been the history (which is full of passion), and the beauty/design of their cars.
TechieTonics: What concept would stand out the most when we’d talk about the future car designs. Would it constitute luxury or sodden with elements of nature within the car’s cabin or an eight-wheel electric car or lightweight water-resistant fabric or anything else that you’d think would hit the charts?
Ramon Ginah: A 100% ecofriendly (in it’s complete lifecycle) sportscar, which is for sure not an electric car. I think that electric cars for now are for people who like to think of being eco-friendly. During usage, they are but for the complete lifecycle of these cars, it has a much worse impact on the environment than a traditional combustion engine car. Producing the batteries, is actually very much environmental unfriendly.
TechieTonics: Is there a single, agreed upon segment persona that neatly encapsulates the generational owners of Alfa Romeo?
Ramon Ginah: People Passionate about cars in terms of design and driving experience.
TechieTonics: You have been involved with Alfa Romeo since more than a decade and now the crew of Great Wall Motor Ltd, China, has appointed you to spill out your creative juices. We would like to hear your thoughts on it, how you feeling and your expectations from the new exciting work.
Ramon Ginah: Of course my feeling is very positive, and I really believe in this new adventure. Expectations are really high, from my side, and I think from theirs as well. GW is divided in 2 brands, which consist Great Wall and Haval. At this moment all our energy is concentrated on the Haval brand, which the company wants to bring to a new standard, premium. The first concept car has been presented in Beijing this year, The Haval Coupe, which is a car that is very close to the production car. This already shows the changes that this OEM is undertaking in a very short time.
I believe that in long term the brand can achieve to become a well-known premium brand.
TechieTonics: With respect to auto markets, do you find China more fertile and adaptive to deal in terms of taxation and environmental issues relative to other markets?
Ramon Ginah: I am only since 6 months in China, so it is still too short time to judge this, but I think that China is changing a lot and very quickly, and young people are becoming very much environmentally conscious. The consequence is that the market will adapt to it as well.
TechieTonics: We are curious to know your take on hybrid technology. Do you see Great Wall Motor Ltd might go in that direction with respect to its passenger vehicles, pick-ups and SUVs?
Ramon Ginah: As I was speaking before about the Haval Coupe, this car is a Hybrid and will be for sale on the market with Hybrid Technology. It is necessary for all companies to work on technologies that will help our environment. And for short term, hybrid is for sure the most intelligent one.
TechieTonics: Before wrapping up would you like to share something with our readers?
Ramon Ginah: What can I say about the Chinese market, it is a huge market, with huge marketsales. At this moment there are over 70 Chines OEM’s, but for sure also here this will reduce to a limit of 10/15 companies, as they will not be able to survive. Great wall is one of the biggest ones today, and respect to a lot of other OEM’s, it is a privately owned company. The owner is a person, which has a lot of passion for cars, and this is really a plus, as the company is pushed to the best it can do for the client. The vision of this company is very clear, so I am pretty sure it will be 1 of the 10/15 survivors. and even more, I think it will become one of the bigger OEM manufacturers. Nowadays people outside of China, is still very much prejudiced about Chinese OEM’s. They are seen as OEM’s that copy, like Hyundai and KIA were seen 7 years ago. But today KIA and Hyundai are no more seen like this. This has been a process of around 5 to 7 years. I think that the Chinese OEM’s who will survive will also make this transformation, but it will take much less time.
Rapid fire questions:
TechieTonics: What will you choose premium sports car or eco-friendly sedan?
Ramon Ginah: Premium sportscar
TechieTonics: What is your favorite car of all time?
Ramon Ginah: Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale
TechieTonics: What gets you really excited to wake up in the morning?
Ramon Ginah: My family, but not too early please… 🙂
TechieTonics: What is the one word that describes you the best?
Ramon Ginah: Capricorn
TechieTonics: If you were not a designer, what would you be?
Ramon Ginah: Engineer
TechieTonics: If you have been bestowed with one super power, it would be?
Ramon Ginah: Infinite energy
Ramon, thank you so much. It’s been an absolute pleasure to talk to you today. We look forward to seeing more of your work in the very near future, we wish you all the best with your future endeavors.