For those who may not have heard of Simon Padian, suffice it to say that he was the Saab Brand Design Chief during the Saab 9-5 NG model development project, which everyone praises as a outstanding design achievement. Specifically, the 9-5NG was just one of the most important projects he worked on at Saab Automobile (9-3X, 9-7X, 9-5, Cadillac BLS, Saab concept cars), and he stayed at Saab for more than 13 years, until the closure of Saab cars.
Interestingly, according to official data, he has been with NEVS for a year now, which is in a way the successor of Saab, in the position of Director at NEVS ’Creative Design. After many successful projects at Saab, Simon worked at Hareide Design, before becoming Director of Interior Design and Interaction at Geely in Gothenburg. There he helped to develop Lynk & Co’s first products and at the same time build up the company’s brand identity and the design department.
Although we follow all the information coming from the company NEVS, they have not promoted this information so far. In the first quarter of 2019 when Simon came to NEVS located in the same buildings as Saab, it was a bit of an adjustment with new assignments in familiar environments (for Simon).
Simon Padian: “On a personal note it took some time getting used to working at the same site that used to be Saab, where I worked for many years. It was very strange when I started, the same buildings and some familiar faces from before, but a very different company. A little bit like one of those strange dreams that combine different people and places from different periods in your life!”
So they have only just published an interview with their creative director, whose excerpts we pass on to you below.
Simon Padian: “Working at NEVS within creative design is a very inspiring experience and we have a fantastic team. It’s maybe not your typical Automotive or Mobility Design set up, we are a small but international team with varied experience which brings a lot of different influences from around the world and gives us a diverse and wide-ranging perspective. It’s a highly motivated and ambitious team which makes my task a whole lot easier!”
The diversity of work is something that Simon mentions as a virtue and a major plus for his own and the design departments future development.
“Working under the umbrella of ‘Mobility Solutions’ rather than just traditional Automotive Design brings a much wider scope than some of my previous roles. There are huge changes ongoing now within transportation and mobility, the push for sustainability, reduced pollution and congestion are leading us to completely different models of use, ownership and interaction. It’s a very exciting time for a designer and it is very inspiring to be part of a company that is working with the whole picture, not just a part of it.”
Working at NEVS has according to Simon allowed him to put into practice all his years of experience into a very focused form.
“I have already worked on a wide variety of projects all of which have had to be executed in record time. It has involved working with everything from Design Strategy through to near production ready vehicles. It has enabled me to bring together all areas of design including Exterior, Interior, UX/UI and CMF, leading and hopefully inspiring the Creative Design team to reach original solutions.”
The work at NEVS means to a large extent cross-functional work between the company’s departments, which Simon believes has become even clearer how important it is and the advantages it brings. Simon predicts a rosy future for the Creative Design team, and he is convinced that there is nothing to stop him nor the department to continue to make great achievements.
Time will tell if Simon will be able to transfer some Saab gene to the new Evergrande models, but in general, NEVS and Evegrande do not have the same goals, plans and customers as the former Saab. They are focusing on a completely different market, in a new time, and in new conditions.