Drive were asked by Partners Andrews Aldridge agency to support them on producing an animation for the Rolls-Royce Motor Cars web page promoting the Ghost V-Specification.
Following the initial creative briefing a story board was produced and agreed, with an animation play blast getting the final sign off. Drive prepared the final data of the car, with colours, materials and finishes matching samples supplied by the Rolls-Royce Bespoke team at Goodwood.
Delivering the final movie within the short time frame available, Drive once again proved their skills and facilities are first class.
Don’t offer options people don’t want and you’d rather not produce.
This may seem obvious but it is something that some car companies don’t realise they are doing.
In the rush to offer personalisation, freedom of choice or upgrade options, car companies offer a range of products and colourways, yet they have very little understanding of which combinations customers actually want. Potential customers who use the car configurator, create numerous colour and accessory combinations, yet very few of the specifications dreamed up will ever see it on to the road. Often because they realise they will be trying to sell the car in the future.
It is essential to collate the data from configurators, feedback of actual / potential customers, and real sales to understand which specifications are in high demand and which aren’t. It is also possible to understand where particular high value combinations are selling.
The sales data needs proper analysis to distinguish between combinations that are being promoted with special deals, and what are actually personal choice. The amount of colour, material and item options creates an incredible amount of data just for just the configurator – imagine the logistics required at every stage of the process through design, production and delivery, even for the options that are hardly ever chosen.
Understanding the market, helps to reduce the number of options, cutting production of low demand products or removing them from future car accessory lists, the customer will have a more focused and streamlined buying experience and the sales effort can be better directed.
The potential cost savings are immense; with higher margins if customers are ‘steered’ in the right direction through the design of the car configurator user interface.
Drive have been involved with numerous on-line car configurators, including design, creating visual content and overseeing the build.
During the 7th auto® automotive design conference I was fortunate enough to share some time with Patrick Le Quément and Thomas Tjaarda, who were both there to present and share their lifetimes of involvement in the car industry.
Thomas Tjaarda is relaxed, telling stories from his incredible career, generous in recounting his experiences with clear insights and an obvious passion. We are sitting together in the sun at a cafe in Zagreb enjoying a cappuccino, and in a way I had the directors cut of his presentation.
Fascinating is the account of his time at Ghia and the extraordinary situation he found himself in when a chain of events left him as the only designer there. Ford started to explore the concept of a small car for the first time in the early 70’s as the fuel crisis loomed. The brief for a design that was to become the Fiesta, was sent out to all the Ford Studios, except Ghia. Then someone remembered that they had a designer there so Thomas recieved the document and started to do some sketches. A few weeks passed as he waited for someone to review the sketches, and while he waited with nothing else to do he started a full size side view tape drawing.
Still no one came to see him so he decided that they might as well fill in time and complete a full size model. This too brought no one, so a running prototype with a Fiat engine was completed and on hearing there was to be a review of 25 concepts from all the Ford Studios at the Dunton studio in the UK, he thought he should maybe send what he had been upto over. The car went down well, and despite resistance and attempted deviation at every stage his original design was eventually realised.
Alone and able to pursue his ‘own’ programme is clearly a situation that is inconceivable today. This is all told with fresh enthusiasm and followed up with a small aside from his time at Ghia that I can’t pass on, but it is sufficient to say that his wife is clearly a very astute woman.
PATRICK LE QUEMENT
I often used to see Monsieur Le Quément, he would be walking through motor shows with a mass of people surrounding him; fellow Renault colleagues for sure, reporters definitely and every now and then he would make time for the unexpected handshake, exchange of business cards and polite conversation with designers, consultants and suppliers.
I have met him before, at the handshake level; that he remembered where was impressive. To be able to spend time with him over a couple of days was fascinating, a charming man who had an enormous amount of responsibility re-energising Renault’s creativity and more importantly car sales. Leaving that behind, he now has as much enjoyment, perhaps more, sketching, designing and overseeing production of yachts.
His presentation was a visual CV of creativity and quality, so many vehicles that he had the ultimate decision over influencing many of today’s car segments. Recounting how his usual response to someone asking how they had pronounced his name was ‘Badly’, he revealed the most obscure version as Patrick ‘Lucky Man’. As he summed up his experiences so far, it is clear that he truly believes he has been a Lucky Man, an appropriate title for the film he previewed that will be shown when he receives the EyesOn Design 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award.
It made me think of this quote by Gary Player – ‘The more I practise the luckier I get.’
It was a pleasure spending time with Thomas Ttjaarda and Patrick Le Quément, and thank them for their company. I admit I am slightly envious, of what both have achieved, yes; but more of how at ease they are as they continue to practise what they enjoy most, designing at their respective drawing boards in Torino and Garches.
The 7th auto® automotive design conference was again held during the Zagreb design week. The man behind the whole event is Daniel Tomičić, his inspiration being a passion for cars and desire to raise awareness of design and inspire young designers in Croatia. His enthusiasm and commitment is infectious and has encouraged a wide range experts from the automotive industry to attend the event and impart their knowledge and experiences.
This year he persuaded Peter Stevens, Thomas Tjaarda, Fabio Filippini, Patrick Le Quément, Nyko de Peyer and Eric Gallina to invest their time, and everyone who attended their presentations came away richer from the experience.
Patrick Le Quément and Thomas Tjaarda both shared their lifetimes of involvement in the car industry, my impression of both can be read about here in ‘Two Lucky Men’.
Fabio Filippini covered the 85 years of Pininfarina, concentrating on the cars presented during the last 5 years in which he has been CCO. It was a visually rich presentation reflecting the Pininfarina values – Elegance, Purity and Innovation.
Peter Stevens, a regular contributor to the event, once again was generous in his time and gave two very different presentations – a selection of projects from his portfolio and a history and the influence of ‘Punk’ Aesthetic.
I was presenting the story of the Zenos E10, giving insight into the design process and challenges that a brand new company faces when trying to establish an identity at the same time create their first product. read about it here
Perhaps the two presentation that had the most impact were from Eric Gallina of Form Trends, and Local Motors’ Nyko de Peyer. Eric’s presentation on the development car segments naturally progressed through history to the question ‘what’s next?’. A driverless society perhaps wasn’t the most uplifting ending to the presentation, but certainly led to a lot of discussion on the future of car ownership and enthusiasts.
Nyko’s showed the potentially game changing fullsize 3d printing / cnc milling techniques that Local Motors have invested heavily in, and publically demonstrated. Every designer there was evaluating how and where they could use the knowledge to take design and production of cars forward.
I was fortunate enough to share some time with all those mentioned over the weekend, I learned alot and enjoyed every moment.
The Niche Vehicle Network is an independent association of over 400 niche vehicle manufacturers, specialist technology and supply chain companies.
Today’s event took place at the Morgan Car Company in Malvern, which was well attended with over 130 people using the opporunity to discuss potential collaborations on a wide range of projects. The formal presentations and organised collaboration ‘speed dating’ event proved to be fascinating, making it a very worthwhile day.
For the past ten years, NVN have provided funding and support to enable various companies to develop new technology and build prototype vehicles which form the basis of new cars and motorcycles demonstrating and ensuring that the UK industry leads the way in the adoption of lightweight materials and advanced powertrain solutions.
Niche vehicle manufacturers including Zenos Cars, Ariel, Caterham, BAC and Delta Motorsport have collaborated with suppliers such as Mahle Powertrain, Emerge engineering and Surface Transforms to develop technologies and systems.