General Motors is focusing more energy on its advanced design studios as it continues to predict an incredibly different future from the one it knows today. Wards Auto reported on that its studios may even take on bespoke work if GM were to begin building cars for transportation service companies.
However, the teams aren’t just future-proofing, they’re also working to execute GM’s strategy to offer more for customers. Michael Simcoe, GM vice president of global design, told the publication that a prime example of the studios’ work is the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado. Chevy will offer eight separate models to start, which range from the basic work truck to the luxurious High Country. These don’t include any special edition pickups, either.
And there will be plenty, Simcoe said.
“People buying in each of these segments are looking for something very specific,” he said of truck buyers. Special editions “allow you to do more with content, which will allow you to separate the market.”
As for the future of advanced design, Simcoe said the rather secret department isn’t bringing more designers on, but instead, it’s allowing current staff to exercise more freedom. He mentioned self-driving cars and electrification but said work goes “beyond” both of the two named areas.
Simcoe also spoke of what design will become in the emerging era of self-driving vehicles. Somewhere between the chic lounge setting and basic people mover is his best guess at the moment, but we’re quite some time away from that future, according to a recent report.
But, it’s coming, and he said it’s one reason why GM doesn’t only employ interior and exterior design experts, but individuals with electronic and gaming backgrounds.
“With technology, we can now take the customer experience deeper. It’s not just physical. We can do all sorts of stuff. We can make the whole experience more immersed even in a more traditional product,” Simcoe said.