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Tesla hires top designer Randy Rodriguez, man behind: Nissan 370Z, Titan and ICON A5 aircraft

randy Rodriguez work

Electrek has learned of a significant addition to Tesla’s design team led by Franz von Holzhausen. Last month, one of Nissan’s top lead exterior designers, Randy Rodriguez, quietly left the Japanese automaker’s design campus in San Diego to join Tesla as a ‘Senior Lead Exterior Designer’ at the electric automaker’s design studio in Hawthorne, California.

Before joining Tesla, Rodriguez spent the last 14 years moving through the ranks of Nissan’s design organization.

At the Japanese automaker, he was credited as the lead exterior designer on 4 production cars and 5 concept cars. A versatile designer, Rodriguez’s work has taken the form of a sports coupe to a pickup truck, and even an aircraft.

His most recognised work is likely the Nissan 370Z. He was credited with the original 2009 production exterior design.

Here’s the 2009 Nissan 370Z:

And now the new 2017 version:

While at Nissan, Rodriguez also did some freelancing and he submitted the original model of the ICON A5 amphibious aircraft, which was selected by the company.

ICON’s head of design, Klaus Tritshler, credited Rodriguez for being “instrumental” in establishing the design of the aircraft:

“Randy is an incredibly creative designer with the ability to express the excitement of the experience in the form of the vehicle. His passion for creating emotional, futuristic shapes allows him to break free from convention and create designs that meaningfully move the needle. Randy’s work for ICON Aircraft was instrumental and established the design direction for the highly successful A5. We continued to include Randy on other projects, and his humble and low-key demeanor make him a great team member.”

The company has reportedly around 2,000 orders for the A5, which is going into low volume production this year for units for training centers and volume production for customers next year:

Rodriguez’s latest work might be an indication of what he will be working on at Tesla. In the past few years at Nissan, the Filipino designer focused on trucks.

He was credited with the production exterior for the 2016 Nissan Titan:

We know that Tesla has been working on its own pickup truck. Rodriguez’s experience on the Titan will likely be helpful to Tesla’s team for the new vehicle program.

He was also credited as the lead designer of the new TITAN Warrior Concept to push the design of the Titan X D variant:

Here is Rodriguez talking about the concept:

Finally, here are a few other concepts Rodriguez worked on before joining Tesla:


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