Martin Uhlarik is working on Nissan's new look for Europe. Company sources say the products with Uhlarik's stamp will start to appear in 2008.
The most likely candidate is a medium minivan to replace the recently dropped Almera Tino. The new model will have styling cues from Uhlarik's Nissan Evalia concept that was unveiled at the 2003 Geneva auto show.
Insiders predict the 33-year-old Canadian eventually will lead Nissan Europe's design center in London.
From there, a leap to the top of the Japanese carmaker's design team would be possible.
Name: Martin Uhlarik.
Title: Nissan Europe exterior and interior senior designer
Education: Degree in industrial design from the Ontario College of Art & Design, Toronto, Canada; degree in transportation design from the Art Center College of Design in Vevey, Switzerland.
What do you drive?
A Nissan Micra C+C.
What was your first job in the auto industry?
Junior designer at Skoda.
What advice would you give someone who wants to become a car designer?
Take risks professionally and creatively.
What misconception do people have about your job?
That it is work.
Which cars do you wish you designed?
The Porsche 928.
Which cars are you glad you didn't design?
The Pontiac Aztek.
What didn't they teach you about your job in design school?
The relationship with engineering. Schools teach you how to create, but they don't talk about the practical side of the job.