- ABOUT US _ Drive is an Automotive Design Consultancy building long term relationships with design-driven companies worldwide, designing products that enhance their brand's DNA and position in the market place.
The automotive design industry is in a period of change and established ways of doing things are being put under the spotlight and their effectiveness questioned. The processes used and the way projects are resourced are changing rapidly, as everyone re-evaluates working practices, their financial situation and the available technologies.
The one glove fits all approach is no longer suitable, as manufacturers realise that they are and need to be different. Not only in their designs, but how they produce them and that requires flexible resources. Businesses have always looked to access additional resource so as not to increase fixed employee costs. Recent changes in regulations are forcing companies to reduce having contractors for a block of time and requesting packages of support from consultancies to provide known expertise and deliver to a deadline.
With experienced specialist teams, consultancies are in a strong position to provide flexible packages. Where quality, experience and value are of utmost importance, they are able to support clients throughout the design process, completing projects in their own studio or through remote support of in house teams using technologies that have long been available but not readily accepted like screen sharing or newer ones like Virtual Reality.
It is not only the manufacturers that are having to adapt but the design consultancies too. It is important that the current market conditions don’t side track the vision of the consultancy, but they need to continually adapt in order to provide value for their clients in these challenging times. For every company, the key asset are their staff and the best consultancies ensure that they provide a good working environment and equip them with the right tools, both equipment and personally, to excel at what they do.
Consultancies like Drive often work across different industries and are able to utilise insights and methods learned from product or aircraft industries to automotive clients and vice versa.
The benefit of this diverse experience of ideas, technologies and processes, delivers fresh innovative and creative concepts to clients whilst speeding up their products’ time to market.
There is no doubt that companies are looking for good return on investment through innovative design and cost reduction. Outsourced design and development expertise is an important element for achieving those goals and progressive clients understand their true value.
The Coventry Automotive Design Drive Sketchbook Award Winner 2021 Tom Hylton, was revealed at the Automotive and Transportion On-Line Degree Show.
Following the high level of response to the Instagram online voting, there were 3 designers who were clear favourites with the voters. They were Tom Hilton, Yong Chang Lee and Henrik Svanvig, with Henrik gaining the most votes.
However the judges decided that Tom Hylton is the deserving winner of the 2021 Drive Sketchbook Award. Tom’s sketchbook showed he had a lively imagination, a touch of humour and that he was taking in what was going on around him in his local environment and the world generally – key to being a great designer.
His choice of sketching style was varied, confident, vibrant and engaging. Sketches also need to be persuasive, and some of Tom’s sketches had a certain ‘unknown quality’ which immediately drew our attention.
Congratulations to all who took part.
It has become so important for car companies to engage with their audience through the social media platforms that car animations for social media marketing are becoming necessities.
It is clear that for manufacturers, car animations are the strongest attention grabbing content in the news feed on social networks. They set your post apart and increase audience engagement, attracting likes and in turn new followers. Simply by holding viewers attention for longer than average, most of the social media algorithms will promote these posts, again driving the brand’s profile, raising its popularity and audience engagement.
Original content that presents a brands unique style and originality, will stick in the mind of the viewer and more likely lead to recommendations. By exploiting the use of CGI and the ability to combine realistic footage with unrealistic scenarios increases recollection, therefore brand awareness and recall.
If this is all new to you, give us a call to discuss your ideas and what is achievable, always happy to chat even if you decide on another marketing direction. 01483 211 200
These are a couple of example of car animations for social media marketing that we produced to promote our own creative team.
See some of our recent work here CGI STUDIO
Ed Stubbs, Final Year tutor, ran a series – Automotive and Transport Design Course Podcast Interviews, during the lock down to keep the students in touch with various figures from the automotive industry.
On this occasion he caught up with Chris Longmore to discuss drive, Consultancy and the continued support of the course with the Drive Sketchbook Award.
Previous winners include Jordan Barnes and Marco Gulla.
Niu Scooters. The Niu kid in town?
Established automotive manufacturers including VW, Ford and General Motors are now setting out their plans to be electric vehicle brands, numerous Chinese companies such as Byton and Nio are staking their claims to become established global OEMs in the future while recent news suggests start-ups such as Canoo and Fisker (again) are finding getting traction can be problematic.
So it got me wondering whether further down the road it will be the Chinese electric scooter manufacturer Niu Technologies everybody’s talking about.
Niu Technologies was founded in 2014, with the goal of designing a stylish, smart-tech electric scooter (e-moped) and selling it to consumers in China, a market that was ready to be disrupted with lithium powered electric technology. They also developed the “Smart Niu” app that relays scooter performance as well as being a Security Alert Theft Protection system where you are warned if the scooter is tampered with when left.
Today, NIU is one of the world’s leading provider of smart urban mobility solutions, with over 600,000 electric mopeds sold worldwide over the last year, having adopted an omni-channel retail model, integrating online channels with their network of Flagship Stores, Premium Stores and Dealers, from Los Angeles to Paris. This sales growth has a lot to do with the coinciding of events, climate change awareness encouraging the reduction of fossil fuels usage, the need to reduce traffic congestion and Covid discouraging the use of public transport and sharing of rental transport.
The different series of products they provide address the needs of different segments of modern urban residents and resolve the demands of different scenarios of urban travel, while being united through a common design language that emphasizes style, freedom and technology.
New electric vehicle manufacturers need to cultivate brand loyalty and NIU are already doing this. Through their global presence Niu have the advantage should they look to disrupt the micro-mobility market further by introducing a small urban ‘car’ to their range, using the knowledge they have gleaned through their current customers.
Building on the brand awareness, with their dealership network in place, Niu are already in a very strong position compared to most of the ‘new’ car brands to be accepted by potential car purchasers. As an already profitable business and established NASDAQ listed company in its own right, there is a lot of reasons they should feel confident about the future.
Clearly developing a vehicle presents different challenges to an e-scooter, but as companies such as Opel and Peugeot have proved, starting with two wheels can lead to very successful car brands.
Neither I or Drive have any affiliation or working relationship with Niu Technologies
Image Credits – Niu Store courtesy of www.niu.com – Concept Car courtesy of Drive