The latest issue of Auto Motor and Sport has hit the news stands and it features their artist’s guess as to what the successor to the Saab 9-3 might look like when it comes out in a few years from now.
They also have an interview with Jason Castriota in the print issue. It probably won’t be online for a little while, so Swedes who want to read it might have to head to the news stands.
Speaking of interviews with Jason Castriota, I’m just finalising part 2 of my trilogy at the moment. Hopefully it will come out in the next 24 hours.
You can read part 1 of my interview with Jason Castriota right now.
Several Swedish newspapers have published a shorter interview with Jason Castriota today. Here’s a Googletrans:
Thanks Lennart and others!
Saab’s new designer is no coward
Saab’s new chief designer want Saab to be more original. Now there are three completely new vision of the new Saab 9-3 in Trollhattan. He’s extremely tough demands on himself. But he himself is only a consultant.
At the end of the interview, Saab’s new head designer Jason Castriota become its feet.
– I do not understand that the new 9-5 was not a combi coupé, “he said suddenly – and saw the date of the new Saab car that is vital for his clients. He, who joins from Bertone in Turin, where he has been accustomed to designing sports cars and be the head had started in autumn 2008. He wanted to move back to New York with his wife and children after eight years in Italy. Wanted the children to get to start school in the United States.
Suddenly he stood alone. He began to build a simple small organization, took his newly printed business cards and flew in December last year the car show in Los Angeles.
There he met an enthusiastic Dutchman named Victor Muller, who had just made his first bid for Saab. They talked a bit.
But it was at the Geneva Salon in March this year that it happened more. He met Victor Muller again – standing in the Spyker little booth and talked on the phone.
“Come here!” Cried Muller in the middle of the phone call. “You have to become chief designer for Saab.”
Castriota felt hesitant, where the center of the parlor floor’s red carpets.
– I did not want to move again, “he says in hindsight.
But it creeps up that he had other contracts with other automakers as well.
They walked over to the Saab stand the day after, met with Saab’s CEO Jan Ake Jonsson and sat for an hour in the small meeting room behind the Saab cars.
“Work with us,” said Muller.
Specifically, the aim was to develop a new Saab 9-3 to be launched 2012th
At the time, when a version of the new middle class car in full scale in Trollhättan.But neither Muller and Jonsson were satisfied. It was too much of the old. Be the cowardly designed. And now it was in a hurry. Very busy. They wanted a more daring car. More Saab in every detail.
Jason Castriota got a month to develop its proposal.
After a few weeks stepped Jonsson and Muller in his office in New York – Castriota work a lot with computer models and had a model on their screen as they liked.
He got the job.
But he is just a consultant.
What are you doing more than working for Saab?
– Draws various things.
He looks around in the little white room – pointing to a chair.
– Furniture, different things, but no cars that compete with Saab.
Jason Castriota stresses that he devotes the vast majority of the time at Saab, where he also is part of the management team.
That means he got to know Trollhättan.
After the divorce with GM was Saab’s design department in Trollhättan say the least, small. Four designs were on the department that employs about 30 people, including five physically based models.
With Jason Castriota Designs (so named his company) entry can be calculated to the five who sit on his New York office.
Castriota divides his time between Trollhättan and New York and live in practice in Sweden two weeks a month.
He has high demands on themselves. The clock is ticking. New Saab 9-3 have come out in 2012, be supersaabisk and do not cost much more than before – it can not withstand the super-sensitive business plan.
– I have fought hard battles to get through some changes, “he says.
The new 9-3 is thus a bit more expensive than they first thought. He confirmed that Saab’s business plan thus has to change, but also says that it is equally important that the new 9-3 is a success. Entire Saab’s future depends on it.
But it occurs while Saab sales refuse to pick up and sales forecast by half this year 60000-30000 cars.
He smiles and says he also draws a bit of a smaller Saab.
– But we have no platform for it yet. Is there such a will after the 9-3.
Inside behind the fence in Trollhättan, well hidden, there are now three different versions of how the new 9-3 will look like – full-scale models, and he works close to the chief engineer Mats Fägerhag to produce them.
Still, they have not quite decided. But they have to choose soon. And if Jason Castriota his way, it becomes a combi coupé with a lot of Saab’s concept cars in recent years in itself.
Next year they put out a concept car, probably at the end of the year.
– I want to get it out as early as possible, but we will also try to get as much technology as we possibly can, too. Then maybe it will end rather than the beginning of the year. It is very tight.