Here PDL AE rant of the week www.autoextremist.com
OH, PENDULUM, WHERE ART THOU?
By Peter M. DeLorenzo
Detroit. As we rush headlong into the unknown with this electrification thing, and the corrupt union management thing, and another round of the subprime loans thing, the thing that bothers me most right now is the degradation of design that continues to play out before our eyes. As I’ve said repeatedly in this column, as we go forward with similar electrified propulsion systems, design’s role as the Ultimate Initial Product Differentiator will become even more important. After all, if the whisper-jet power systems rely on artificially-tuned sounds, the only thing left to create brand character are the exterior designs themselves.
Compelling, beautiful design lures people in; it’s what makes people look and want to see more, and ultimately buy. Which is why I am more than a little concerned where we are today with design. A quick tour of the latest "electrified" designs coming from auto manufacturers is frankly scary. Why? Everything looks alike. And the vehicles making their way around the American landscape are too often predictable, boring and uninteresting. I get the fact that we’re living in an all-SUV-all-the-time world, but it’s getting ridiculous out there. Here are a few examples of what electrification has wrought: