Tesla has reportedly hired Ian Kettle, a former Volvo designer responsible for the XC40 SUV, AutoExpress reports, citing sources familiar with the matter. Kettle is a British citizen who was once a student at the Royal College of Art and Coventry University. According to AutoExpress, his tenure at Volvo ended in February.
Sources told AutoExpress that Kettle was hired at Tesla as a senior designer within the last few weeks. It's unclear what he's working on, but in the course of his work, Kettle will report to Franz von Holzhausen, former Mazda designer and current Tesla design director. Tesla declined to confirm anything to both Roadshow and AutoExpress.
While it's unclear what Kettle is working on, there's plenty for him to do. Rumor has it that the Model S is up for an aesthetic refresh both inside and out, and the Model X probably won't be far behind. There's also the matter of Tesla's forthcoming pickup, in addition to any tweaks the new Roadster needs before being marked as ready for production.
Kettle is a solid hire for Tesla. The XC40 is one of Roadshow's favorite small entry-luxe SUVs. It might not have returned good fuel economy in our tests, but we loved its design, its standard complement of features and its driving dynamics. The XC40 has helped raise the bar in its segment, so it'll be interesting to see where Kettle helps take Tesla going forward.