We recently had a chat with the President and CEO of Brembo North America, Dan Sandberg, during the 2019 SEMA Show in Las Vegas. During our conversation, Sandberg discussed his podcast, Brembo Red, which had GM design chief Michael Simcoe as a guest back in September. During the interview, Simcoe talked about how styling for crossovers and SUVs is evolving.
During the podcast, Sandberg asked Simcoe about the difficulties of styling a five- or seven-seat SUV, specifically with regard to creating a design that would help to differentiate the SUV from its competitors. Interestingly, Simcoe’s response included insight into the modern design trends for the ever-popular SUV and crossover segments.
“It was hard when we were all trying to style small trucks and call them SUVs,” Simcoe said. “I think what’s happening though, and this is the fine line between lower CUVs and SUVs in the true sense, because all the SUVs, to make them better styled or well-styled, they’re getting sleeker and the silhouette of the vehicle and proportion is more sporting.”
This is critical, as the crossover and SUV segments continue to dominate the auto industry, and as such, the design of these vehicles must evolve to reflect the updates and changes rendered throughout their enduring popularity. According to the GM design chief, the market dictates that the latest styling should have a definitive sporting flavor to it.
“They’re no longer traditional trucks… and that’s what customers are looking for,” the GM design chief adds.
Indeed, customers seem eager to buy crossovers and SUVs that are perceived as do-it-all vehicles – that is, capable and practical, but also comfortable and fun to drive. As such, much of customer perception is derived from the way in which the given vehicle is styled.
Interestingly, this styling trend leads the GM design chief to believe that the industry will continue to move towards sportier, lower vehicles.
“And I think that signals a trend back down to sleeker and more emotional vehicles rather than the upright SUVs,” Simcoe said. “There will always be a place for function and therefore the upright vehicles, but there’s a growing trend towards sexier, lower SUVs.”
Looking further ahead, the GM design chief also thinks that the industry will eventually cycle back towards adoption of the sedan body style, as we covered earlier this week.
Source: Brembo Red