Steve Mattin leaves Volvo

Automotive Design 31 Mar 2009
Steve Mattin leaves Volvo

Volvo Senior Vice President of Design Steve Mattin is leaving the company after four-years during which he was responsible for projects such as the C30, XC60 and the S60 Concept.

Steve MattinThe unofficial announcement was made by Swedish media and follows the resignation of the GM’s CEO Rick Wagoner and Peugeot CEO Christian Streiff.

UK-born Steve Mattin had joined Volvo in May 2005 after 17 years at Mercedes-Benz, where he was senior design manager for projects such as the SL, SLK, SLR, and the Maybach line.

At Volvo Steve Mattin has contributed to renew the brand’s design language with such projects as the C30, XC60 and S60 Concept.

No further details are available at the moment.

Below we report Steve Mattin’s biography and CV, from Volvo’s official documents.

About Steve Mattin

Born on
29 October 1964 in Bedford, England, Stephen (Steve) Mattin graduated from Coventry University in 1987 with a BA (Hons) in Industrial Design (Transportation).

Steve MattinFrom 1987 to 2005 he worked at DaimlerChrysler where he filled the following positions:

  • 1987-1990: Designer
  • 1990-1993: Senior Designer
  • 1993-2000: Design Manager
  • 2000–2003: Senior Design Manager (Exterior/Interior Design  M-, R-, G-Class)
  • 2003-2005: Senior Design Manager, (Exterior/Interior Design S-, M-, R-Class, SL, SLK, SLR, Maybach)

In the course of his career at Mercedes-Benz he was responsible for the exterior design of a whole series of models, including the A-Class, the S-Class, the C-Class sports coupé and the SL.

He had the overall design responsibility for the new M-Class, concept cars for the Grand Sports Tourer and the production version of that vehicle, the R-Class. He gets a real kick out of seeing the finished product on the roads.

Volvo XC60 Volvo S60 Concept Design Sketch
Volvo XC60 Volvo S60 Concept

In 1997 he was named “Designer of the Year” by the British motoring magazine Autocar.

Biography and quotations

Steve Mattin grew up in the village of Wootton, in Bedfordshire, England. Fond of drawing for as long as he can remember, he thought at first that he wanted to be an architect.

Steve MattinHis father, an electrical engineer, was fascinated by cars, and he soon started taking Steve and his younger brother to England’s biggest car show each year.

“It was the highlight of the year. From the age of eight onwards, I thought about nothing but cars.”

Steve Mattin describes himself as a something of a perfectionist, anxious to see the design process all the way through – from first sketch to finished vehicle. “A car is a sculpture on wheels,” he says.

“A car is an object constantly on the move, to be found in all sorts of different surroundings. You can be anywhere in the world and see one of your cars. You spread your own personality and creativity onto the rest of the world.”

“I try not to follow trends. It is best to be a trendsetter yourself,” he says and points out that you need to avoid blandness.

He is conscious of the designer’s share of responsibility for ergonomics, safety and environmental aspects, and believes that good design is essential to enhance a brand’s core values.

“Good design will last well and still be seen as fresh and new, years later. Design and quality go together – not just fit and finish, but also visual quality.”

“When it comes to inspiration, everything is grist to his mill – buildings, furniture, and consumer products in general. Above all you need to keep your eyes open. Even the tiniest detail can etch itself somewhere in your memory and come in useful at a later date.”

“Design is a passion I have, so it is difficult to screen off. It is never an eight-to-five job,” says Steve Mattin.


  • 1997 Designer of the year – Autocar Magazine
  • 1987 Winner – Royal Society of Arts Design Bursary competition (automotive section)
  • 1986 Finalist – PRI Plastics on the Road competition
  • 1979 Winner – BP Style It competition

(Source: Volvo, Virtual Car)

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