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Our Insight List is designed to keep us on our toes and you in the loop, on a regular basis. Our Quarterly Insights is sent to our clients and friends four times a year. Our Show Insights provide in-depth reports from the major International Auto Shows.

April 2014


Have you noticed...? The ‘van is big in Berlin

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Sat outside a cafe in Berlin's up-and-coming Neukoln distrinct on an unseasonably warm spring day, we couldn't help noticing the proliferation of Transporter Shuttles, or 'Multivans' as they are known in their native land, adorning the quiet streets. Berlin still has that enjoyable, bohemian feel right now which means that older cars are the order of the day. Every road isn't peppered with late-model Porsches, BMWs and SUVs as it now seems to be in the leafier parts of London and New York. 

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Have you noticed...? Volvo plays Chess in the Concept Estate

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It's easy to miss small details in the hectic environment of an auto show. But this often means small – but great – conceptual ideas or particularly exceptional design execution can be overlooked. One such "Have you noticed...?" detail we were particularly impressed with at the Geneva auto show was the game of 'Kubb' (Viking Chess) integrated under the transparent trunk floor of Volvo's Concept Estate

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Inspiration at 10,000 meters

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At CDR we spend a lot of time flying around the world visiting clients and attending auto shows. In just the past month alone I've flown to the UK, Switzerland, Germany, China, and Denmark. While most of these flights are fairly unremarkable and aren't really sources of inspiration or ideas, my recent flight to Copenhagen got me thinking about seat design in the automotive and aerospace industries.

From the moment I boarded my SAS Airbus, there was a sense of space that's exceedingly rare on a intra-European flight these days. Finding my preferred spot by the window, I was especially surprised at the firm but supportive seat that greeted me. Staring at me from the seat back was the surprise answer to the question I hadn't even fully formed yet—"who's responsible for these great seats?" 

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A quiet revolution in car design

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This week we were excited to have for a few days one of the first BMW i3 on the Sixt fleet – the most radically different production car of our time. It's a design that conceptually, thematically and technically is very different to anything else. But what we really weren't expecting was the way the experience of driving and being in the i3 on many different roads would be dominated by a very different shift in the bias of sensory responses to it. It was far less about how the car looked and behaved and far more about the soundscape that the car design delivered...

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