HAK SOO HA: EXTERIOR DESIGN MANAGER DRAWS UPON EARLY LOVE OF PAINTING, ART FOR INSPIRATION
Hak Soo Ha, exterior design manager, 2011 Ford Edge
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Hak Soo Ha, exterior design manager for the 2011 Ford Edge, brings a world perspective to the popular midsize crossover. Born in South Korea, Ha moved to Argentina when he was 14 before coming to the United States for college. He earned his degree from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Calif.
Throughout those travels, one consistent theme emerged.
“As a boy I always loved cars and I enjoyed drawing and painting, so my career came very naturally,” said Ha.
One TV show in particular stoked his interest while growing up in Argentina – “El Auto Fantastico,” better known as “Knight Rider” in the United States. Perhaps a new generation of auto designers was inspired by the updated version, which featured a Shelby GT500KR in the starring role.
Ha joined Ford in 2001. Prior to his assignment with the 2011 Ford Edge crossover, Ha assisted with the exterior design of Ford’s family of midsize cars: the Ford Fusion, Mercury Milan and Lincoln Zephyr (now MKZ).
“I enjoy working with many, very talented and dedicated people who share the same automotive passion,” said Ha. “I love working for Ford because it gives me great pride to work for an American company that puts its priority on families and customers.”
That passion clearly carries over to the new Edge.
“With the 2011 Edge we wanted to create a look that was bolder and exuded more presence on the road through a more flowing design. Nothing is a straight line. The appearance is more undulating, creating the feeling that the 2011 Edge is always in motion,” said Ha.
Paddling through the waves and keeping the beat
Away from work, Ha and his wife, Kate, and their two sons, Johannes, 5, and Elliot, 1, take advantage of Michigan’s abundant natural beauty, especially on lakes, rivers and streams. Ha enjoys both kayaking and paddling surf skis, which are similar to kayaks except the occupant sits on top rather than inside.
He’s also an aspiring drummer.
“I recently bought a five-piece Ludwig drum set, and I am learning how to play,” said Ha, adding that the boys love to play with it as well – pretty much guaranteeing just about no peace and quiet for mom.
“She doesn’t mind … I think,” said Ha.
Personal Insights and Fun Facts
- Ha’s all-time favorite Ford vehicle is the 2002-03 Focus RS – “I love drifting and off-road rally racing. I also like its looks and practicality,” he says
- What happened to the first car he owned? It was stolen and wrecked
- Ha’s favorite place to hang out is by Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in Empire, Mich. “It is quiet, peaceful, and the scenery with the blue water and golden sand is breathtaking”
- At one time Ha had a 1963 Ford Thunderbird and a 2003 SVT Focus as part of a four-car stable in his garage. Today it’s a Ford Flex and a Ford Mustang
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About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 159,000 employees and about 70 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford, Lincoln and Mercury, production of which has been announced by the company to be ending in the fourth quarter of 2010. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford’s products, please visit www.ford.com.
Aug. 16, 2010