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November 2016

C-factor is still the future of Chinese car design

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At the first car design conference in China in 2008, run by the Chinese Society of Automotive Engineers, Car Design Research presented a paper on ‘C-factor’.  C-factor is the idea that Chinese car design might seek to be (better) known as Chinese – to have some identifiable, and attractive ‘Chinese-ness’ just as many other cars have a nationally specific design orientation.  It was a long time ago, and there has been much talk of ‘C-factor’ since, but earlier this year in Beijing when we were reviewing most of the new Chinese market designs it seemed pretty clear that Chinese car design has yet to find its C-factor.  All the cars we looked at were generically ‘western-ish’ car designs - none had any particularly Chinese quality.  But what should this ‘C-factor’ be — what might Chinese car design come to be known as, and does it really matter?



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