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2013


Trend: Blade Lamps

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LED lights first appeared on cars originally designed for incandescent lighting.  Now we are seeing cars designed at the outset exclusively with LED clusters. These have brought with them a new form of lamp – the blade of light that is horizontally orientated and presents a much wider, meaner DRG. 

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Design thought: Mercedes-Benz CLA

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The Mercedes-Benz CLA is a significant new addition to the market. It creates a new niche – the small, four-door coupe. It is based on the cheap A-Class, is the size of the more expensive C-class, and takes the design theme of the much more expensive CLS.  

It will compete with the forthcoming Audi A3. Respectively, they will be the smallest cars sold by Audi and Mercedes in China and America at the present time (the A-Class and A1 are not sold in these territories).

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Strategy analysis: BMW M Performace

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BMW is creating two sub-brand strands, radiating out from ‘mother BMW’ in the middle - one orientated to efficiency, the other performance.

On one side, this 'line'  of cars starts with “Efficient Dynamics” trim, runs through “Active Hybrid”, then “Active E” and tops out with the stand-alone ‘i’ cars. 

On the other side is the more established, sporting-orientated ‘M’ trims. Moving out from standard BMW cars comes the ever-popular ‘M Sport’ trim, that half of 3-Series customers in the UK opt for. Until now, it’s then been a big jump up to full ‘M’ cars in this sub-brand lineage, but now there is a new ‘M-performance’ line filling this gap.

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Have you noticed?... Asia’s going camping

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Recent trips to Asia, and two motorshows in particular, highlight the explosion of Asian interest in exploring the great outdoors, and in particular camping

It’s interesting to note that, while the last two decades have been dominated by headlines about Asian (specifically China’s) urbanisation, the latest trends we’ve seen at shows illustrate that Asian customers are going big on the great outdoors.

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