The following press release has just come through from Saab, confirming the Bloomberg story from earlier.
Thanks to Ted Y, here’s an interview with Castriota at Jalopnik.
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.”
Victor Muller, Saab Automobile’s Chairman, added: “Bringing a young, highly-talented designer to Saab underlines the company’s determination to produce cars which stand out because of their unique aircraft inspired, Swedish identity. With Jason heading up Saab design, we will be making landmark cars for the foreseeable future.”
Castriota hails from New York and graduated from Emerson College in Boston before attending the prestigious Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. In 2001, he left the college to join Pininfarina’s design studio in Turin, Italy. He took up the position of Director of Design at Stile Bertone in 2008 and then opened a design consultancy with offices in New York and Turin.
His recruitment is an important strategic step by Saab in its renaissance as a newly-independent carmaker.