9. MARTIN SMITH (61, British)
Executive design director, Ford Europe, Asia Pacific, and Africa
Key cars: Audi Avus, 2006 Opel Corsa, Ford Iosis and 2009 Fiesta
Smith's career has been central to many key design trends of the last thirty-plus years. At Audi from the late '70s to the '90s, he helped develop the brand's clean lines on the Audi 4000, 5000, Avus concept, and TT (with J Mays). At GM's European operation from 1997 to 2004, Smith influenced the future of Opel/Vauxhall with the 2003 Insignia concept. He then moved to Ford of Europe, where he has been instrumental in its dynamic "kinetic design" (think Fiesta and new Focus), which is now key to the company's One Ford global policy. In 2006, he added Asia Pacific and Africa to his job responsibilities. Massively influential, with sales hits to match.