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We've seen the tactic plenty of times before: an automaker that wants to up its game, so it hires a designer from a brand it seeks to emulate, then releases concepts that make people go "Ooh la la." Lada is the latest, having hired Steve Mattin to be its design head. Mattin is coming off tenures as senior designer at Mercedes-Benz and chief designer at Volvo before emigrating to the Russian side of life (although the company's design bureau is in Milan, Italy).

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