During the recent 2019 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, we had a chance to talk to the President and CEO of Brembo North America, Dan Sandberg. While we chatted with Sandberg, he mentioned his podcast, Brembo Red, which recently hosted GM design chief Michael Simcoe. Among the topics of discussion on the podcast were things like a Simcoe’s prediction that the auto industry would eventually shift back to a sedan body style, in addition to the future of SUV and crossover styling, the progression towards larger and larger wheels, and modern electric-vehicle styling. Additionally, Simcoe talked about the current state of global vehicle design.
During the podcast, Sandberg asked the GM design chief if there were specific considerations for vehicle design that were dependent on the country or market, or, if instead there was merely a more general design scheme that worked across the board.
“I think that in the past there were differences in how the different studios, certainly in GM globally, handled design,” the GM design chief said. “But in the age of instant gratification, everyone sees – whether it’s a developing country or a developed country – everyone is seeing a vehicle launched at the same time, all within seconds, because it’s all on the net.”
The GM design chief continued by pointing out how the Internet is shaping customer tastes, namely with a shift towards more homogenous expectations, regardless of the market. “So in some ways, it’s flattened or leveled expectations, and in some ways, it gives a right for a developing market to have all the desires and wants of a developed country now,” Simcoe said. “I mean, why shouldn’t someone in a developing country want the same level of feature content?”
Simcoe went on to explain that while there are always certain tastes that are different when it comes to individual customers, including those within certain markets, there are other things that stay the same globally.
“Design is not quite ubiquitous, because there are still color and trim preferences, but essentially the desires of the customers are all the same,” Simcoe said.
Source: Brembo Red