We recently spoke with the President and CEO of Brembo North America, Dan Sandberg, at the 2019 SEMA Show in Las Vegas. Among the topics of discussion was Sandberg’s podcast, Brembo Red, which played host to GM design chief Michael Simcoe in September. During the podcast, Simcoe indicated that he believed the industry would make a shift back to the sedan body style sometime in the future.
Simcoe’s prediction came after Sandberg asked him about the industry-wide move away from sedans and towards utilities. Simcoe responded that he has a personal passion for performance sedans, given the segment was more or less his background in the industry.
Simcoe joined ranks with General Motors as a designer at Holden, and some of his work includes the Holden Commodore (VX), Holden Caprice and Buick Avenir Concept. Later, Simcoe worked as director of design for GM Asia, which provided him with experience with regard to smaller sedans and hatchbacks as well. Now, he enjoys a position as GM design chief.
Simcoe also acknowledged that here in North America, “SUVs are king.”
“But I think what you’re seeing is a shift to SUV cues or more formal SUV cues being applied to lower seating positions in vehicles,” he added. “And that’s where this new term CUV is coming from.”
“The trouble is, the market is mixing both appearance and content so hard these days, it’s very hard to tell what is a true SUV, versus what is a CUV or generally a crossover vehicle,” the GM design chief said.
Regardless, Simcoe said he believes that the cyclical nature of the auto industry means a shift back to the sedan body style is more or less inevitable.
“When hatches and sedans stopped selling, CUVs took their place,” Simcoe said. “But I think there will be a cycle [back to sedans] in the industry. And again, then we go back to electrification, which will make people think differently,” Simcoe said.
At the end of the day, Simcoe believes customers want a car that “says something about them,” with attractive styling and a sense of premium outfit. And that can still include the sedan body style.
“They want to park something in their driveway that their neighbors admire,” the GM design chief said. “So the reason for purchase is the same as it’s always been. I think we’ll cycle back down to lower vehicles and essentially everything will be on the road.”
Source: Brembo Red