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Tesla hires lead designer behind Volvo’s praised XC40 SUV

Tesla hired a new senior car designer from Volvo to lead new exterior designs coming to the automaker’s lineup.

Yesterday, Auto Express suspected that Tesla hired Ian Kettle, a Senior Exterior Designer at Volvo, in a role at Tesla’s Design Studio in Los Angeles.

Electrek has now been able to independently confirm that Kettle has indeed joined the team led by Franz von Holzhausen, Tesla’s Chief Designer, and Bernard Lee, Tesla’s longtime manager of exterior design.

He will join Tesla’s other exterior car designer, like Julien Bilodeau and WooTak Kim who came from Porsche and Mazda respectively a few years ago.

Kettle is best known for having led the exterior design of XC40 SUV, which has been praised by many car design experts:

During his 6-year tenure at the Swedish automaker, the graduate of the Royal College of Art has also led the exterior design of the 2016 Volvo Concept 40.1, which led to the XC40 and is expected to become one of Volvo’s first fully electric vehicles:

He is the second senior employee related to design that Tesla poached Volvo. We reported back in 2016 that hired the automaker’s ‘Head of Interior Engineering’ to improve its interior quality.

Kettle is going to have plenty of opportunities to work on upcoming exterior designs for Tesla.

The automaker has several programs coming up including, the Model Y, which is actually going to compete with the XC40, Tesla Pickup truck, the production version of the next-gen Roadster, and we recently reported that Tesla is planning an exterior refresh of the Model S and Model X in 2021.

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