Steve Mattin, AvtoVAZ Design Director, plans to lead a styling revolution at Lada to transform the brand’s image. Mattin is aiming to achieve the same feat accomplished by Kia design boss Peter Schreyer in transforming the South Korean brand’s image. Mattin remarked to Automotive News Europe that Kia's rapid sales gain through strong emphasis on design is what he wants to replicate at Lada, which is the best-selling brand in Russia.
Lada’s models have been lashed for having a dull and obsolete design. In fact, The Lada Niva sports utility vehicle has remained virtually the same since it was launched 37 years ago. Mattin said Lada “is now changing and will be clearly seen in the future." He told Automotive News Europe that Lada will undergo an intensive modernization with the introduction of a completely new design language and DNA aimed at changing the image of the brand.
Mattin began his design career with Mercedes-Benz. He was the design head at Volvo from 2005 to 2009. AvtoVAZ named him its design director in 2011. Mattin said that while his challenge AvtoVAZ is the same with the one he had at Volvo -- to give the brand a more desirable look.
The Lada X-Ray concept AvtoVAZ unveiled at the Moscow auto show in 2012 provides some indications on Lada's new design. The concept provides a glimpse of the carmaker's plans for new crossover and SUV models that will be introduced in 2016. Mattin told Automotive News Europe that the new Lada design will have to look robust to appeal to buyers in Russia, where bumpy roads are common. He added that the new design should retain a certain simplicity. [source: automotive news - sub. required]