In eight years at Volkswagen, Robert Lesnik has slowly helped shape the new look of some of VW's most important passenger cars.
As a team leader in VW exterior design, he is responsible for VW's new, bolder front-end, the shield-like Wappengrill. The Wappengrill was launched on the Passat. The name comes from Wappen, an old German word for shield.
Lesnik's stamp is on the new Eos, VW's coupe cabriolet that is debuting in showrooms this spring. Lesnik's latest creation will be unveiled in September at the Paris auto show.
Although he wouldn't hint at what's coming -- a Jetta wagon or a new concept are rumored -- there's a good chance it will lead to more exposure for the 34-year-old Slovenian.
Lesnik says he someday wants to lead an automaker's design team. That could mean his stamp will be on Volkswagen products for many years to come.
Name: Robert Lesnik.
Title: Volkswagen team leader of exterior designer.
Education: Degree in transportation design from Pforzheim (Germany) University of Applied Sciences.
What do you drive?
A VW Passat and Alfa Romeo 156 wagon.
What was your first job in the auto industry?
VW exterior designer, 1998.
What advice would you give someone who wants to become a car designer?
Don't give up. It's not an easy field to enter, but once you get in it's the best job in the world.
What misconception do people have about your job?
That we sit and sketch nice, cute pictures all day.
Which cars do you wish you designed?
The current 911. It is a perfect car.
Which cars are you glad you didn't design?
The Ford Scorpio. It had such an ugly face.
What didn't they teach you about your job in design school?
Nobody really showed us how to do a car. It's something you only learn by doing.