A good paper to read

Hi all.


I’m doing a research about car design and came across with a good article written by a transportation professor in Munich University.

Interesting article Faithy. What did you think of it?

I should say I really liked paper…Made me realize how car companies came to an end simply because they have such a bad product. -especially GM-
Whats even worse is that the number of car companies needed to fill the current market is only 6. GM already already has 15 companies.

I was doing the research whether its a good idea or not to start masters in trans. I figured that the future of car design(also the education) will be a lot different than what it is today. I think it will be more related to industrial design.

How did you find the paper Mr-914?

A few thoughts:

  1. The first time I read it, I was reading it as an experienced designers that’s met some transportation designers. Therefore, some of it was old news to me. I wish I read I had an excerpt like this when I was in high school:

Nowhere else is a designer’s half-life so short, the competitive pressure and the workload so great as in the automobile industry.

I remember thinking how fun it must be to work at a car company. Now, I think it must be a royal pain.

  1. I think ID has already started to creep into car design. Several top transport designers have talked about bringing more traditional ID into their studios. Porsche and BMW both do product consulting on the side. So some of what this guy is predicting, already happened 10 years ago.

The other thought is that the author underestimates the power of styling & brands.

Styling sells more cars than almost anything else. Definitely more than quality or fuel economy. In spite of millions of years of evolution, humans still make decisions on emotions. Styling is the sharp end of the emotional design stick. Cars and trucks which use this effectively will always outsell those that don’t. That’s why a Hummer H2 was a success and an Audi A2 a failure. No matter how bad the Hummer is off-road, on-road, in terms of the environment, it does provoke a strong emotional response. An Audi A2 is a pinnacle of efficiency and really is what people need, but it’s a complete failure.

A lot has been made about Fiat’s “6 car company” prediction. They are talking about economies of scale, not brands. Fiat has 5 brands itself (6 counting Abarth). GM always should have been one of the companies to survive, because of its dealer network, and opportunities to save money on scale. Unfortunately, the GM corporate culture didn’t promote these efficiencies.