Monit Chitroda, a National Institute of Design (NID) graduate, designs interiors for cars. And like his fellow colleagues in their early twenties, the quiet designer is already part of Renault Nissan’s (RN) global project that’s designing an answer to Tata’s Nano at RN’s global design centre, Renault Design, in Mumbai. The $2500 (Rs 1.14 lakh) car codenamed ULC (Ultra Low Cost Car), will roll out from Bajaj’s small car plant in Pune in 2011. They smile when asked about work. “Our office is nice and comfortable,” said Ajay Jain, the studio chief designer. Jain, barely out of his twenties, heads the team that’s working on bringing Indian design elements in Renault’s future cars.
Gunjan Singh, who designs materials for car’s interiors, said that she had never even dreamt of becoming an automobile designer. “Like everyone else, I thought I’ll take the same route of joining perhaps an NGO,” said this NID graduate, who joined the design centre two years ago.
But are these fresh talents capable of creating cars of the future?
“Our designers in Sao Paulo, Brazil, appreciate some aspects of their design,” said Patrick Le Quement, head of global design, RN, who designed the best-selling Ford Sierra.
However, senior designers in other car companies say that experience is needed too. “Fresh talent is fine, but experience is just as important,” said a design head of one of India’s top automobile companies.
Renault’s young team was judged for their vision and ability to dream up a car that would suit the needs ten years hence.