Jason Castriota -- one of Fast Company's 100 most creativeEnlarge Photo
Saab might be skating on thin ice, but it has a solid choreographer. Design director Jason Castriota has been named one of Fast Company magazine's 100 Most Creative People in Business and appears in the third-annual ranking in its June 2011 issue.
Castriota attended Boston's Emerson College, then went to the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. Before finishing at Art Center, he was hired by Pininfarina and rose to the chief designer position in its main Turin studio—eventually having a role in the Maserati Gran Turismo, Maserati Birdcage 75th, and Ferrari 599. In 2008, he was named director of design at Stile Bertone. Then last year, following talks that began at the Geneva Motor Show last year with Spyker CEO Victor Muller, Castriota was named the design director of Saab Automobile last June.
At Saab, New York–based Castriota is overseeing the design of the next-generation 2013 Saab 9-3, which he explained to Motor Authority earlier this month will mark a return to a hatchback design and some of the brand's classic design influences. The design director, who used to own a Saab 900, also pointed to the rounded fenders of Saab's teardrop models like the 1950s-era Saab 92.
Saab's future is still uncertain as a deal earlier this month with Chinese automaker Hawtai Motors failed. Saab owner Spyker Cars is currently in talks with Pangda Automobile Trade Co Ltd, China's largest vehicle distributor, over a potential $155 million partnership deal.