Tesla might have lost its Senior Vice President of Engineering, Doug Field, to Apple, but the car-maker is playing the long game. Apparently, a decision has been taken to shake up the design of Tesla vehicles, and the person to do it has proven his art with the vehicle you see above: the Volvo XC40.
Both AutoExpress and Electrek were able to independently confirm that Ian Kettle, the man behind the Volvo XC40’s renowned design, has been lured over to Tesla. Kettle, a former Royal College of Art and Coventry University student, has left his Senior Exterior Designer position at Volvo, to join Tesla’s Design Studio in Los Angeles.
Apparently, Kettle will be joining the team of Franz von Holzhausen, Tesla’s Chief Designer, and Bernard Lee, Tesla’s exterior design manager. The former Volvo designer will be working with Julien Bilodeau (who joined Tesla from Porsche) and WooTak Kim (coming from Mazda).
What Kettle’s first project will be is yet unknown, but he has many opportunities to prove himself: the Model Y (a Volvo XC40 competitor), the Tesla Pickup truck, the next-gen Tesla Roadster, or the rumored Model S and Model X refresh in 2021.