Saab Automobile’s New Design Director, Jason Castriota Interviewed By New York Times

Posted on 23. Jun, 2010 by in 2010-2019, Designers

castriota Saab Automobile’s New Design Director, Jason Castriota Interviewed By New York Times

Photo Credit: New York Times

Saab’s new Design Director, Jason Castriota has been recently interviewed by the New York Times.

Here’s a small part of that interview below:

Jason Castriota, formerly designer for Ferrari, Pininfarina and Stile Bertone, has been tapped by Saab to lead design, through Mr. Castriota’s design firm.

Jason Castriota Designs has been hired to handle design for Saab Automobile, the Swedish automaker that was bought in February by Spyker NV, a Dutch car company.

Saab’s news release referred to Mr. Castriota, 36, as design director, adding that he would take “the lead role in design at Saab,” but he will not work exclusively for Saab, Mr. Castriota said in an interview on Monday.

Mr. Castriota is widely regarded as a star in the car design world. He was at Pininfarina from 2001 to 2008. While he was at Pininfarina, he worked on designs for Ferrari and also for Maserati (which is owned by Ferrari) including the Maserati Birdcage concept. More recently, he worked at Stile Bertone, where he designed the Mantide, an exotic car based on the Corvette ZR1.

Mr. Castriota, who was born in the United States, set up his own firm, Jason Castriota Design, in December and has offices in New York and Turin, Italy, where he also keeps a residence.

Bertone Mantide Mr. Castriota designed the Mantide supercar during his brief stint at Stile Bertone, the Italian design firm.

In the interview, Mr. Castriota said that the Saab relationship began with a meeting he had with Jan Åke Jonsson, Saab Automobile’s chief executive, and Victor Muller, the chief executive of Spyker and chairman of Saab, at the Geneva Auto Show in March. They discussed Mr. Castriota’s designs for a sportier, upscale version of the company’s bread and butter 9-3 sedan.

At first Mr. Muller and Mr. Jonsson wanted to hire him as Saab’s in-house design director, Mr. Castriota said. Instead, it was agreed that Mr. Castriota’s firm would remain independent, but direct design for Saab.

How does Mr. Castriota see Saab?

“Quirky and distinctive are important words,” he said. “It should be a true premium car alternative to the Germans. With the 900 series, with turbocharging and sporty performance, it was a smart buy. You saw doctors and lawyers everywhere driving Saab.”

These days, he noted, Audi has taken that position in the market that Saab occupied in the 1980s and part of the 1990s.

Mr. Castriota’s 9-3 may be on the road by 2012. He also may work on a small car, the 9-2.

Mr. Castriota pointed to the success of the Mini Cooper as a model for the success that the 9-2 might achieve. “There’s some behind-the-scenes talk going on for platform sharing with other companies,” he said, adding that he will have a voice in Saab’s marketing.

Click here for more of the interview on the NY Times.

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52 Responses to “Saab Automobile’s New Design Director, Jason Castriota Interviewed By New York Times”

  1. G

    24. Jun, 2010

    Too bad SAAB will never return to its blue-collar roots. From the 80s onward they became yuppie-mobiles.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Peter Gilbert

    06. Jul, 2010

    To the contrary, even the so called working class buy fully loaded cars. Just look at Hyundai and many drivers buy pick-up trucks which cost more than a Saab.

    Reply to this comment
  3. Ted Y

    06. Jul, 2010

    Peter,
    I suppose you’re correct, but I too wish they had kept at least one real blue-collar car in their lineup. I hate the “professor” talk nowadays. It used to be “engineers” that drove Saabs. Here’s hoping for an affordable 9-2.

    Reply to this comment
  4. Emanuel

    28. Jul, 2010

    Hello Ryan! How are you? I haven’t seen any new posts and miss your updates! Some of us were just wondering if you are ok or are just enjoying a nice break. We’d love to hear from you and want you to know that we appreciate what you do at Saab History! Ok, take care!

    Emanuel

    Reply to this comment
  5. Nico

    28. Jul, 2010

    I second Emanuel’s post. Ryan, I hope you had a chance to attend the 2010 SOC. Lot’s of things have happened since your last posting over a month ago.

    I hope you are doing okay and you are following Saab news nevertheless.

    Nico

    Reply to this comment
  6. Osama Dajani

    31. Jul, 2010

    The site hasn’t been updated since the end of June-10, What’s the latest updates/news ??

    Reply to this comment
  7. Nico

    01. Aug, 2010

    I am pulling this into comments from the about link at the top bar.

    In Ryan’s own words:

    SAAB HISTORY CHANGES PERSPECTIVE

    6.23.2010

    Today, Saab History will change perspective by taking a break for the foreseeable future.

    The creation and daily maintenance of Saab History has been quite an undertaking, one that started in 2005. I must admit it is very difficult to take a break from something that has both defined the past years and has involved such an inordinate amount of time, effort and resources. As I look back on my time with Saab History, I can reflect upon the good memories of the experiences and relationships that I have made along the way.

    Saab History was quite a ride over the years, and as I take this break, I want to thank all of you who have supported my efforts and who have valued the content presented here. I appreciate your support.

    I hope the future of Saab remains bright.

    Sincerely,

    Ryan Emge

    Reply to this comment
  8. Joost

    01. Aug, 2010

    Ryan, I’m sorry to hear about Saab History taking a break. Off course this is well deserved, I can image it takes a lot of someone to always update a site to the latest news and always have your opinion ready.

    I just wanted to let you now that I’ve always enjoyed Saab History. It’s the best archive about Saab on the web and maybe a lot of people underestimate this. Saab History has it’s own place and it’s own right of existence in the Saab community, besides Saabsunited, which has grown to to be the major news source and forum about Saab. As an archive and history source however, Saab History is unbeatable.

    Of course I don’t know anything about your reasons to take a break. But if this has anything to do with the ongoing competition with Saabsunited, maybe it’s an idea to focus on the things Saab History is really great at.

    I wish you all the best and I really hope we hear from you again in the near future.

    Reply to this comment
  9. James Dale

    02. Aug, 2010

    Ryan, hope all is well. I have noticed Saab History has not been updated in a long time. I was worried, but then I began to understand after I attended the Saab Owners convention last week in Aurora Ohio. I listened to Victor Muller and Jan Ake Jonsson praise the efforts of some Aussie and his Save Saab Campaign. There was absolutely no mention of you, nor your massive efforts in rallying North America let alone, the world, through The Saab History Web Site. I WAS ABSOLUTELY SHOCKED! Saab must get their information straight and give credit where it is due! Your web site is a testimony to your dedication and beliefs to preserve this Iconic brand. I think we should all start the SAVE RYAN Campaign and get the truth to the executives at SAAB. I cannot begin to imagine how you feel.

    Reply to this comment
  10. Ted Y

    02. Aug, 2010

    I want to second what Joost said above. I also want to add that Saab has dropped the ball by not recognizing and honoring your great efforts. You deserve official recognition.

    Reply to this comment
  11. Peter Gilbert

    03. Aug, 2010

    Ryan, sorry to hear that you are taking a break and I hope to add my comments in the future as I have in the past.

    Peter Gilbert

    Reply to this comment
  12. peter

    05. Aug, 2010

    I understand why Ryan feels snubbed. This from today :

    http://newsroom.saab.com/news/news/saabceocreatessaabsunitedaward.5.6a0ed975128ec1d13f17ffe1478.html

    Maybe there is now an even greater need to keep Saab History updated ?

    Peter

    Reply to this comment
  13. Tom

    08. Aug, 2010

    I am so thrilled at the direction taken by SAAB and fully support the product line-up. Can’t wait to see the new 9-3.

    Here is an article I wrote for the San Francisco Chronicle on my SAAB a few years ago:

    http://articles.sfgate.com/2006-04-22/autos/17291391_1_san-diego-county-car-guy-highway

    Reply to this comment
  14. LM Cunningham

    11. Aug, 2010

    Ryan,
    Thank you so much for bringing the Saab community together. You were a great leader through the winter as we worked to SAVE Saab. I hope the company appreciates your hard work. I truly appreciate it.
    Leslie

    Reply to this comment
  15. Golfhunter

    16. Aug, 2010

    We hope to read more from you soon here Ryan .
    Best ,

    Jeff

    Reply to this comment
  16. Steve

    18. Aug, 2010

    Hi Ryan,

    We miss seeing your updates on Saab History and hope you resume one day soon.

    Your contributions to the Saab community are immeasurable and missed by many.

    Best wishes,

    Steve

    Reply to this comment
  17. Stewart

    21. Aug, 2010

    Certain change of perspective!
    If you don’t come back it will remain as my dearest blog of all time. I’ve really learn a lot about Saab and motor industry thanks to you Ryan. My best wishes for you and what future brings.
    Kind regards,

    Stewart

    Reply to this comment
  18. Dave

    22. Aug, 2010

    =( Ryan , wish you were here…………

    Reply to this comment
  19. dino

    24. Aug, 2010

    Hey Ryan – Like many others I miss your blog too. Hope you come back – but if you do not good luck on your future endeavors….

    Reply to this comment
  20. Momcat

    01. Sep, 2010

    Hi Ryan ~
    As a newcomer to the Saab community I just want you to know how much I have learned from your outstanding site. It is clear that you are passionate and dedicated and have devoted countless hours to create this blog. I am so sorry that things have taken a different direction and I truly miss your informed and well presented updates. Like the others, I truly hope that you will be back. In the mean time, I thank you for all that you have done, and I wish you well in your new endeavor.

    Reply to this comment
  21. Dave

    22. Sep, 2010

    Just a note to Ryan , I still come in each day to see the “History ” part of your web site, I read eat and sleep SAAB cars . I’m a mechanic on them for 35 years now , thats my profession , But I’m still an amiture as a person who does love the brand , you have still done great I belive we both do this because we care , have a long term intrest as to what can be . I’ve never done it for anything else , I want people
    to be happy with their SAAB cars , be treated fair and it’s been up hill all the way. Some Franchise’s dont care about the brand other than for profit , not the people who own them
    I’m about to be working on a 3rd generation of owners , that I am proud of . Wonderful people they are and the son’s , daughter’s and their children . Dealers have tryed to sue me , exploit customers , but I keep going on , most likely for the rest of my life . Point being I do understand ” Burn-out ” I trust your well and your doing what your most happy at

    Be Well Ryan , We in the SAAB community do care about you , and Thank You so much for what you’ve done .
    Dave W. Columbus OH

    Reply to this comment
  22. Ted Y

    22. Sep, 2010

    I would like to echo Dave’s sentiments. I come here every day hoping to see new postings. But whatever you’re doing Ryan, I wish you success and happiness.

    Reply to this comment
  23. Jeremy

    29. Sep, 2010

    Ryan,

    I would also like to echo the comments of your supporters above. I too check your site daily hoping to see that you have returned to Saab History.

    I too wish you well no matter what the future brings but hope the Saab world knows what a positive influence your site has provided to Saab and owners for so many years.

    Cheers

    J.S.

    Reply to this comment
  24. CB

    30. Sep, 2010

    Love your blog here. I’ve enjoyed reading a few of your posts, and will be back for more.

    Reply to this comment
  25. Lee

    11. Oct, 2010

    Ryan,
    Yours was the first SAAB blog that I gravitated toward after contracting a case of terminal and near-fatal Saabfluenza. You have been THE source for all things SAAB. When you come back, I’ll be back for more. In the meantime, I’ll see what your Tasmanian counterpart has to say today…

    Reply to this comment
  26. David Warren

    27. Oct, 2010

    Just came by to give ya a Hug Ryan =) thinking of ya , be well

    Reply to this comment
  27. Momcat

    31. Oct, 2010

    Hi Ryan ~
    Like David above, I am stopping by to wish you well and hope you will be back soon to go forward w/ this phenomenal blog! We miss you and we need you!! PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

    Reply to this comment
  28. aeronaut

    31. Oct, 2010

    Hey Ryan, just thought I would mention that in the Boston Globe review of the new 9-5 this week they give credit to your rally at the GM HQ helping to save Saab.

    Here is the link: http://www.boston.com/cars/newsandreviews/overdrive/2010/10/2010_saab_9-5_a_great_underdog.html

    Great job saving Saab.

    Ps. They loved the new 9-5.

    Reply to this comment
  29. Yabanc? dizi izle

    11. Nov, 2010

    Your RSS feed doesn’t work in my browser (google chrome) how can I fix it?

    Reply to this comment
  30. Markc

    03. Jan, 2011

    Happy New Year Ryan. Hopefully we’ll see you back in 2011?

    Reply to this comment
  31. Nico

    06. Jan, 2011

    Happy New Year Ryan. As others I hope we can see you back here soon. If not to just take the face of Jason Castriota from the front page. Maybe just a nice picture of an old Saab, or the latest 9-4X.

    Anyway, I wish you the best, Nico

    Reply to this comment
  32. He is very good at designing a car, he is really best in the industry to produce the better designs for any company. Best of luck for the rest of your career.

    Reply to this comment
  33. Ryan

    19. Jun, 2011

    Thank you too for your kind words everyone!

    Reply to this comment
  34. Florida Permit Test

    22. Jun, 2011

    He is well known designer all over the world. He has designed many cars with best look. All the best for your future projects too.

    Reply to this comment
  35. Joshua's Law

    23. Jun, 2011

    I have read few articles regarding him, as they have written like he is very good car designer, so I understood that he can do the best in the saab. As he has been designed very good cars in the past he might come up with few best ideas this time in the saab.

    Reply to this comment
  36. Thank you for a awesome article.You have given me some ideas and a different way to to write articles.

    Thanks
    vCommissionOnline Marketing Business

    Reply to this comment
  37. Annicka

    27. Jul, 2011

    Ryan, Saab need saving again and as you arranged the convoys that saved Saab the last time could you do the same again?

    Reply to this comment
  38. Wow, this guy design the Ferrari, Pininfarina and Stile Bertone. Maybe he became very rich. As for the SAAB, I think it is very interesting car to check. I hope this guy will continue making good designs for cars.

    Reply to this comment
  39. Dave

    23. Aug, 2011

    Ryan , we still haven’t forgot you kind sir . I hope your well and the family also . I’m doing O.K. and still fixin SAAB’s each day , business is good but faith is a little low on the SAAB front but we still have the faith of Bob Sinclar =) . Sigh I do miss him along with the others we have seen pass .
    Just a note to say Hi =) and Thanks Be Well / Dave Columbus Ohio / Mechanic , and SAAB guy

    Reply to this comment
  40. Ryan

    26. Aug, 2011

    Annika & Dave,

    Thank you for your kind words!

    Ryan

    Reply to this comment
  41. annicka

    22. Dec, 2011

    Ryan,
    Saabsunited has become more of a Victor Muller fan site than a Saab site. Why don’t you start up again?

    Reply to this comment
  42. Ryan

    29. Dec, 2011

    Thanks Annicka, like many of you, I’ve been watching Saab from the side since actively running SaabHistory.com

    It’s sad to see what has happened with the brand over the past year and half, all seemed quite preventable.

    Reply to this comment
  43. auto car check

    27. May, 2012

    This is such an interesting article post that you shared to us. And I like a lot those great points that you mentioned. So interesting to read. Keep it up and more power!

    Reply to this comment
  44. Ashley

    04. Oct, 2012

    Hi, we would like to place a guest post at your blog on any subject that you need, for example “Top 10 most powerful cars of 2012” or “The most powerful motorcycles of all times” etc. At this post we would like to place a website link, the subject of the website is salvage cars from American auto auction. If you’re interested in dealing with us, please write to xebracing@yahoo.com

    Reply to this comment
  45. Jesse

    27. Dec, 2012

    Hi Ryan,

    The videos don’t work anymore. Maybe it is with my computeror….? Those videos were awesome and I hope they are viewable in the future also. Great site man! Thanks!

    Reply to this comment
  46. Michael

    02. Mar, 2013

    Don’t “F” up Jason Castriota, I’ve owned and only driven Saab’s since 1978. I was one of those guys back in the day who said he would never drive a Saab again once GM got involved. Well in 1997, I bought my first Saab/Gm. It was a Talladega. I still own it along with a 2006 Aero.
    I love both cars but as far as I’m concerned, it”s not a Saab from the old Days. I still have my 1987 SPG and it will out perform my Talladega and Aero any day of the week.
    Chances are unless you bring me back my Saab, I suspect it’s time to move on. Cadillac’s CTS series has had my attention for years.

    T’ll be watching and waiting.

    Michael (Ottawa Ontario)

    Reply to this comment
  47. Vlad

    31. Jul, 2013

    I’ve never heard of Saab brand before :|

    Reply to this comment
  48. TV Films in Pakistan

    30. Oct, 2013

    I am impressed by the way you covered this topic. It is not often I come across a blog with captivating articles like yours . That was a very helpful piece.
    TV Films in Pakistan

    Reply to this comment
  49. Aqeelzam

    14. Dec, 2013

    Jason Castriota, I hope this guy will continue making good designs for cars.

    Reply to this comment

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