Anne Asensio started her career at Renault as one of the first female car designers in the industry. After studying at the “École des beaux-arts de Versailles”, she began to work at Renault as a car concept designer. Initially, she was interested in furniture and mechanical design which has led her to focus mainly on interior design aspect of cars. Together with Research and Development department, she came up with innovative and unusual car designs. Being a female in a male dominated industry, she initially believed she has the power to influence change. While working as a car designer, she became more passionate about cars.
After making significant changes at Renault, in 2000, she moved to Detroit to join General Motors. At General Motors, her first project was to assist in designing the general concept one of the most American (as well as most “manly” of cars) – the GM Camaro. It is also ironic that the interior of this American car was designed by a Frenchman.
Her main achievement, however was at Renault when she helped to design one of their most popular and iconic cars -the Renault Scénic. There were three different generations of the Scénic, the first of which Asensio worked on. The original model was based off Renault Espace; a family van with a large sized body and spacious interior, characteristics that later influenced the Scénic. Originally, the Renault Espace was released in the United States but due to major popularity in France, Renault began to work on a more compact car which eventually became the Renault Scénic. The first of the three Scénic models sold out almost immediately, leading Renault to increase production. Originally, this was only a “concept car”, that Asensio worked on at the beginning of her career.
In one of her interviews discussing her early life, she said, “Most of the cases, boys love cars and motorbikes. That’s why they want to draw a car. Today they love video game, that’s why they want to be a 3D artist. That was not my train of thought. I wanted to do something in my life that will be enabling me to draw.” There is a certain level of attention that is needed when designing a car, not only the mechanics but the aesthetic. She believes that most men will not pay much attention to all the aspects of the car, especially the interior, which is where she excels.