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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.

March 2015


The Big Apple. The new centre of the premium car world?

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Back in January, Sam mused on how Detroit was no longer the home of car design. That was a view partly born out of the paucity of significant new cars launched in Detroit, and the complete lack of radical ideas.

Question is, has the New York motorshow now superseded Detroit as the place to launch a new, premium car in North America? It looks so. New York has long been a second-tier show – sitting behind Detroit, but also LA – in importance. It’s also been totally overshadowed by the alternating Shanghai and Beijing shows, which have often opened on exactly the same April dates as New York. Car makers have, unsurprisingly, prioritised China. In 2011, that meant Mercedes took a fully functioning Concept A to China, but brought just half a model of the car (reflected by mirror to make it into a virtual full concept) to New York.

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A smile from Suzuki in Geneva.

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One of the most pleasant design surprises at the Geneva Motor Show this year was the Suzuki iM-4 crossover concept. While little hard information is available on the car, it appears likely to be a replacement for the Jimny compact SUV, and the styling is clearly based on the  newest generation of the Alto, which has (or may never) be seen outside of Japan. Look around the rest of Suzuki's stand in Geneva though, and you'd be forgiven for thinking you were at the 2003 Geneva Motor Show. With Honda next door not exactly moving things forward from a design standpoint either, there's a general feeling that Japanese design has lost its way in recent years. But they're actually doing great design, or at least interesting—and keeping it for themselves.

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Apple CarPlay – the calm before the storm?

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If you read some reports, you’d have believed that all anyone was interested in and talking about at the recent Geneva auto show was Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. 

The reality was anything but – most designers and journalists hadn’t found a demo by day 2, and most were chatting about how disappointing the new R8 was and just what impact building a 7-seat minivan would have on BMW’s brand image.

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Re-imagining the Cluster with UsTwo

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For the past couple of years, we’ve been in frequent dialogue, and have occasionally worked alongside Digital Agency, UsTwo. They’re the people behind Monument Valley and Tesco Huddl.

Today they’ve unveiled a piece of work called "Re-imagining the gauge cluster". This is a piece of work we were involved in at its conception. And it comes just a few months after UsTwo published a white paper and e-book about the future of in-car interfaces, which also had some input from us.

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