Tag Archives: Design Director

New Design Director at Saab Automobile

Posted on 18. Jun, 2010 by .


Photo Credit: Saab Automobile AB

New Design Director at Saab Automobile

* Former Pininfarina and Bertone designer joins Saab leadership team
* Will lead design for Saab’s product expansion program

Trollhättan, Sweden: Saab Automobile today announced the appointment of former Bertone and Pininfarina designer Jason Castriota as its new Design Director.

Castriota, 36, now takes the lead role in design at Saab, reporting directly to Saab Automobile CEO Jan Åke Jonsson. He and his design company will be responsible for exterior and interior design and will lead the design activities at Saab as the brand renews and broadens its product range.

Announcing the appointment, Jan Åke Jonsson said: “We’re delighted to welcome Jason to our leadership team. He has an outstanding track record in automotive design and will help us take the brand forward. He will play a key role in expressing all that’s best in the innovative tradition of Saab design as we carry our brand’s roots into the future.”

“I’m greatly looking forward to joining such an iconic brand,” said Castriota. “Saab has a very strong and distinctive heritage which gives it great potential to develop. This is an exciting opportunity for me to help shape its future products.”

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Saab Automobile AB Sweden : Promoting Creative Design

Posted on 12. Jun, 2008 by .


As a follow-up to my report about Christer Nilsson retiring from Saab Automobile AB in Sweden, Gunilla Gustavs of Saab Automobile Sweden has just produced a wonderful press release discussing Saab’s focus on promoting creative design.

Gunilla Gustav is the Global Brand & Product Communications at Saab Automobile Sweden, whom Etienne, Saab History’s European correspondent interviewed this past March while in Geneva during the Saab 9-X BioHybrid Global Launch.

A thank you to Gunilla for providing this press release through the Global brand channel. On the topic of channels, it still sounds like the Saab Automobile Sweden regional channel needs some clarification as to who will be replacing the big shoes of Christer Nilsson at this time.

Here is the press release below:



Saab Automobile promotes creative design

– Principal sponsor of Design S, Swedish Design Award.

Saab Automobile is the principal sponsor of Sweden’s most prestigious design prize, Design S – the Swedish Design Award – together with the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs. This sponsorship is an expression of Saab’s commitment to Scandinavian design principles and interest in promoting a holistic view on design issues. The bi-annual award was founded by Svensk Form, SVID (the Swedish Industrial Design Foundation), and the Advertising Association of Sweden. The Minister for Trade, Ewa Björling, presented the award at the prize-giving ceremony.

The Swedish Design Award was presented yesterday, 10 June 2008, at Berns Salonger in Stockholm. From a total of 200 entries, 19 nominees were selected and out of these 10 were awarded with a Design S. The awarded contributions are presented in an exhibition that will go on tour, in Sweden and internationally, until spring 2010.

“The selection of this year’s Design S reflects the creativity, competence and excellence that Swedish design present today,” says Kersti Sandin Bülow, Professor of Design and Crafts at the University of Gothenburg.

The opening speech was given by Simon Padian, Design Director at Saab Automobile.

“The criteria for Design S fall well in line with Saab’s philosophy so it was natural to support this award,” says Simon Padian. “The promotion of Swedish design as an intelligent way to solve problems and create communication and functionality is highly relevant. As a Swedish brand we seriously want to be a part of that approach.”

Saab Automobile has for decades been an advocate of using design in a wider perspective. “Design with a purpose” is a Saab credo, and a Scandinavian visual language has become a central element of the way the Saab brand is expressed.

“The Design S award highlights the important link between design and sustainability, something that is of extreme importance today,” comments Kersti Sandin Bülow. “The selection reflects the breadth of the design field, with the nominees ranging from small objects used close to the body, to more large-scale elements that are highly visible in society.”

For more information: www.swedishdesignaward.se

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Saab Designer Profile – Einar Hareide

Posted on 05. Feb, 2008 by .


einar_new2_300.jpgNorwegian born, Einar Johan Hareide, began with Saab as a designer in 1985 and worked until 1989 before he decided take a job with Mercedes Benz briefly, then returned to Saab in 1991 as a designer until 1994. In 1994, he was appointed design director otherwise known as chief designer until 1999. It is important to note that Hareide worked alongside Björn Envall on the new generation 900 designs (Envall-Hareide era).

Einar Hareide was also responsible for the early introduction of the 9-5 until the first modification was made in 2002, the 9-3 which was the successor to the new generation 900, as well as the 9-3 Sport Sedan designs from 2003 until 2006, and exterior design until 2007.

Today, Einar Hareide has been running his own design business focusing on a variety of industries with offices in Moss, Norway and Gothenburg, Sweden called Hareide Designmill.

Photo Credit: Hareide Designmill

Work Experience:

1994 – 1999 Chief Designer, Saab Automobile
1991 – 1994 Designer, Saab Automobile
1985 – 1989 Designer, Saab Automobile


1985 – 1986 Transport Design, Center for Creative Studies, Detroit, Michigan
1981 – 1985 Master of Design, HDK Gothenburg

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Saab Designer Profile – Simon Padian

Posted on 12. Nov, 2007 by .


padian_200.jpgSimon Padian began his career with Saab Automobile AB 18 years ago in May of 1989 as a designer. Since then he has worked in a number of capacities, then left Saab to work with Cadillac for 11 months, and finally returned back to Saab Automobile in April of 1999 where he worked at the Advanced Concept Center.

Today, Simon Padian is Saab Automobile AB’s current design director and he was most recently responsible for oversight over the redesign of the new 2008 Saab 9-3.

At this time it is understood that he is working at the Saab Design Center in Molnlycke (Pixbo), Sweden just outside of Göteborg.

In June of 2007, Lowe Brindfors, Saab Automobile AB’s advertising & marketing arm, made a promotional video that features the 2008 Saab 9-3 unveiling as well as Simon Padian describing the design features of the refreshed 2008 Saab 9-3.

Here is a brief biography of Simon Padian provided by Saab Automobile AB

Date of birth 7th Feb. 1965
Place of birth Flitwick, England
Family Married to Anna-Lena, one son, Elvin
Current position Saab Director Design
Date of employment 1st may 1989
Aug 2005 – Present Saab Director Design
may 2002 – aug 2005 Head of Project Design, Saab Automobile AB.
nov 1999 – may 2002 Chief Designer Carline 1, Saab Automobile AB.
april 1999 – nov 1999 Lead designer, Saab Advanced Concept Center.
march1998- feb 1999 Assignment to GM, Cadillac Design Studio Warren, Detroit.
may 1989 – march 1998 Designer. Saab Automobile AB.
jan.1988 – may 1989 Designer, Kick Design, Holland..
july 1987 – dec 1987 Designer, BSTE Ltd. England.
march 86 – sep 86 Designer, Abtech 84 Ltd.(Training placement).

1983 – 1987 Coventry University, England
(BA Honours Industrial design Transportation)

Mountain biking, Travel, Architecture, Interior Design, Cooking, Home renovation, skiing.

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The Saab Designers (1947 to Present)

Posted on 16. Feb, 2007 by .


Saab Automobile has had a great lineup of capable detail-oriented designers from the very beginning. Had it not been for their creative abilities and substantial influence on design language, Saab Automobile would not be where it is today, setting itself apart from the masses and creating unique, progressive and fun automobiles for people to enjoy.

It is long overdue that we thank these designers for all of the work that has gone into the production vehicles that we have enjoyed for years in addition to all of the conceptual charettes they have done for designs and concepts that did not make production.

I begin with a smorgåsbord below depicting some of the most notable designers from the early years until today. Additionally, I have provided a comprehensive list (work in progress) that should help clarify each and every Designer, along with their contributions to the Saab designs that became a reality, ultimately going into production.

sixten.jpgIn 1939, a self-taught illustrator by the name of Sixten Sason, notable for being responsible for designs with Hasselblad, Electrolux and Husqvarna from everything from cameras, refridgerators, waffle-irons, power-saws to even an early plan for a bridge across the Öresund to link Sweden to Denmark, now known as the Öresund Bridge completed in 2000. He began work with Saab Airplane company (SAAB) later that year to draw planes and other material during the Second World War. When the War was coming to an end, the company began shifting their strategies with the addition of automobile manufacturing. During this time of transition for the company, Sixten Sason was asked to contribute to the “Project 92”, that was introduced in 1947 as the first prototype for SAAB, the automobile manufacturer. This Prototype was known officially as the 92001 and later production model “92” ,were inspired by the SAAB J21 plane.

bjorn.jpgIn 1969, Björn Envall started with Saab, while working alongside Sixten Sason on his final project, the SAAB 99. Björn Envall’s most notable achievement under his role as chief designer with Saab, was the transition of the classic Saab 900 (1979-1993/94) to the new generation 900, commonly known as the NG900 that was introduced in 1994 until 1998. Björn Envall was responsible for the 99, 90, 900, 9000, EV-1 concept car, and a secret “EV-2” internally released concept vehicle which was to eventually set the stage for his final project, the new generation 900.

einar.jpgNorwegian born, Einar Johan Hareide, began with Saab in 1985 and worked until 1989 before he decided take a job with Mercedes Benz briefly, then returned to Saab in 1991 as a designer until 1994. In 1994, he was appointed design director otherwise known as chief designer until 1999. It is important to note that Hareide worked alongside Björn Envall on the new generation 900 designs (Envall-Hareide era). Einar Hareide was also responsible for the early introduction of the 9-5 until the first modification was made in 2002, the 9-3 which was the successor to the new generation 900, as well as the 9-3 Sport Sedan designs from 2003 until 2006, and exterior design until 2007.

michael_ola.jpgMichael Mauer, a trained industrial designer worked with Mercedes Benz straight out of school for a number of years in his home country of Germany. In 1997 he assumed the role the chief designer of Advanced Design of Mercedes in Japan which is where he met Anthony Lo. In 2000, he was asked by the President of Saab Automobile at that time, Peter Augusston to be chief designer for Saab. When Michael Mauer started, the 9-3 Sport Sedan was completed, however Mauer did contribute to the 9-3 Sport Sedan wheel design as his first responsibility. His first notable accomplishment was the introduction of the 9-X concept car in 2001, followed by the 9-3X concept car in 2002, with the 9-3 Sport Hatch concept in 2003.

anthony_alex.jpg Anthony Lo, a former colleague of Michael Mauer at Mercedes, joined Saab Automobile in October of 2000. Lo worked with Mauer Saab Automobile directly from 2000 until 2004, when Mauer took an opportunity with Porsche and Lo was named director of advanced design for General Motors Europe in August of 2004. Anthony Lo’s achievements included the 9-X, 9-2X, 9-3X, 9-3 Sport Hatch as well as his most recent design, the Aero-X with Alex Daniel, first shown to the public at the Geneva Motor Show in March of 2006.

I conclude this writeup with a comprehensive list (work in progress) of all the designers that have been responsible carefully and intelligently integrating and developing Saab’s design language into each and every Saab model from past, present and the future.

Additions, modifications are appreciated.

Photo Credits: Saab Automobile

Design Contributions by Designer

Sixten Sason 1912–1967
SAAB DESIGNS 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 99 (1939-1967)

Gunnar Ljungström

Rolf Melde
SAAB DESIGN 94, 95, 96
Björn Envall 1942-
SAAB-SCANIA DESIGNS 99, 90, 900, 9000, EV-1, NG900 (1969-1992)

Björn Karlström
SAAB-SCANIA DESIGNS MFI-13, 97 II/V4 (1966-1969)

Sergio Coggiola

Gunnar A. Sjögren

Giorgetto Giugiaro1938-
SAAB-SCANIA 9000 (1978-1981)

flagno.gifEinar Hareide
SAAB-SCANIA NG900, 9-5, 9-3, 9-3 SS (1985 – 1989) + (1991-1999)

Tony Catignani
Saab Automobile 9-5 (1993- )

Michael Mauer
Saab Automobile 9-X, 9-2X, 9-3X, 9-3 SportHatch (3.21.2000-2004)

flagchina.gifAnthony Lo 1964-
Saab Automobile 9-X, 9-2X, 9-3X, 9-3, SportHatch, Aero-X (10.2000-PRESENT)

question.jpgAlex Daniel
Saab Automobile Aero-X

Erik Rokke
Saab Automobile Aero-X

Ola Granlund
Saab Automobile, 9-X, 9-2X

Simon Padian
Saab Automobile 9-X, 9-3X, 9-3 SportHatch, Aero-X

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Saab 9-X Wins Top European Design Award

Posted on 05. Mar, 2002 by .



Photo Credits: Saab Automobile


SAAB 9-X Wins Top European Design Award

Norcross, GA – The innovative Saab 9X has been named the Best Concept Car in the 2002 European Automotive Design Awards. The honor was announced at the Geneva Motor Show and is based on an annual poll of member designers from car manufacturers, design studios and suppliers throughout Europe.

First seen at last year’s Frankfurt Motor Show, the multi-dynamic Saab 9X has earned praise for combining features usually associated with a coupé, roadster, wagon and pick-up within one unique vehicle. Powered by a 300-hp, 3.0-liter V6 turbo with all-wheel drive and conceived as a hint of the future of Saab design, the 9X is the work of a team led by Saab Design Director Michael Mauer. The 9X showcases Saab’s philosophy that a high-performance sports car can also provide versatility and practical utility.

The official commendation praises the Saab 9X for its “refreshing individuality” and the Saab brand for its ability to “maintain its designer DNA.” It adds: “A Saab should remain a Saab and not be compromised by component sharing and the product planning of sister brands.”

Comments from designers’ voting returns included: “The 9X couldn’t be more Saab. It has presence, a sporty stance and a distinguished look.”

Another designer observed: “Original and sporty, the 9X is also functional – as a Saab should be. The 9X preserves the exclusivity of Saab and of Swedish design. It is a car that would have a strong appeal in international markets if produced.”

“I am pleased to accept this award on behalf of the design team at Saab,” said Mauer. “We have tried to break down traditional design conventions with the 9X and it is gratifying to know our efforts have been so well received.”

The success of the Saab 9X was also reflected in further recognition for the work of Michael Mauer, who was chosen as the runner-up in the Designer of the Year category.

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Production Concept