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.
Beijing Auto Show — Headline Thoughts
Last week we were at the Beijing show to see the latest car designs and talk with the designers behind them - both the many westerners based here and the often less internationally well known Chinese designers - as part of the research we do for the Design Trend Reports we produce at all of the major auto shows.
Given the paucity of clear information about much of the cars, and the nominal presence of western media here, we thought it might be useful to share three of our headline findings and thoughts...
The 2018 Beijing Motor Show opens its doors this week, promising to showcase China's commitment to a clean-powered drivetrain transition. That said, we expect to see emergent and established brands unveil a broad spectrum of low-emission designs aimed at the Chinese and to a broader extent global market. CDR will be in attendance on the press days to experience hands-on all of the latest cars, production and concept.
Rugged-ising the car — taking the 'Allroad' mainstream
In September 1997, Volvo introduced a car called the V70 XC, latterly called the Cross Country. But it was the launch of the 1999 C5 Audi A6 Allroad Quattro that confirmed the ruggedised, high-riding estate as a new product category in the automotive industry.
Since then, Cross Country and Allroad models have become a mainstay of both Volvo and Audi’s ranges and represent an interesting half-way point between regular car line and SUVs (XC and Q models). It’s a type of niche offering that’s popular with well-heeled middle class, liberal families in Northern Europe and the coastal Americas. It’s a fact that partly accounts for Subaru’s meteoric sales rise in the USA, many of the Japanese brand’s models loosely follow this recipe.
UX design in cars today is very much focused on helping the driver easily and quickly realise their needs for an ever more complex system. In games design it is different: the UX designer is not trying to help the gamer easily and quickly realise their end point and win the game, but to prolong and enrich the emotive experience of gaming. With electrification and greater automation reducing the ways cars emotively engage with the driver, so there is a clear challenge for car UX design to learn from games design and focus on delivering richly emotive experiences.