Tesla hires Volvo interior designer

Jonathan M. Gitlin, writing for Ars Technica:

Anyone who has driven a Model S or Model X also can’t help but notice the company’s weakest point—the terrible interiors. Evidently Tesla has realized this and has poached Volvo’s head of interiors, Anders Bell, in order to remedy the problem.

It’s not just a lack of design flair—although that is certainly true. It’s also the materials used, most of which would look out of place in an economy car in 2016, let alone a luxury SUV or sedan that starts out at more than $60,000. And this stuff is important. As a driver, the interior of a car is the bit that you’ll look at and touch almost all the time.

Acres of flat, black shiny plastic abound. The Model X central storage bin has cheap removable inserts for cup holders. And the cubby that lives below the massive touchscreen in the Model S? No one thought to give it a lip at the forward edge, so anything you put in there is headed straight for the back seat the moment you hit the accelerator. And that’s before we’ve touched on the Q&A problems—the last Model S the company let me drive had that cubby misaligned, so there was a half-inch gap at the upper left corner.

Yours truly has recently sat in a Tesla Model S, and whilst the technology on offer in the interior, such as the digital instrument cluster and expansive tablet-style touchscreen are seriously impressive, the materials used aren't, with obviously fake metal trim and plastic wood. 

It's unclear as to precisely what influence Anders Bell had in the interior development of vehicles like the S90, but this looks to be a great hire for Tesla. Volvo has recently been on a roll in creating stunning, honestly designed interiors. If Tesla can replicate Volvo's interior design expertise it will be a huge advantage for them.