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GM's Design Drive Hits the Road
GM's Design Drive Hits the Road

Auto Design February 14, 2007, 11:05AM EST

By refreshing its lineup with new interiors, the No. 1 carmaker aims to win over consumers with quality and fend off its rival for the top spot, Toyota.



GMI Opinion- Could this be the new American 2008 Cadillac STS's interior? Notice the detail changes, of which includes a CTS style steering wheel.

Kate Zak, General Motors' director of global component strategy, stands under moody spotlights in front of three disembodied steering wheels, talking about the importance of a proper "handshake." The interactions in question—the tactile experience of hands on a gear shift, a windshield wiper stalk, or a steering wheel—are minute, and, it turns out, inextricably linked to drivers' impressions of a car's overall quality. "We've found that these handshake components—their feel, their sound, their actuation—really are for customers an indicator for the entire vehicle, windows of insight into the car," says Zak.

After inviting the small group of journalists with whom she's speaking to poke and prod the steering wheels behind her, she moves on to another set of dislocated auto components in a dim room punctuated by design displays swathed in contrapuntal light. The traveling salon is part of a GM (GM) campaign to put its designers—and the work inside the Warren (Mich.) Design Center—front and center.

The company is trying to show that it too knows how to innovate, and that the products of a long-term, design-driven revitalization are at last ready for prime time. Dave Rand, GM's executive director of interior design, says, "We don't have to keep making promises, we feel we have something we can show."

Countering Rivals with Style

The world's biggest auto maker is in a highly publicized dogfight with Toyota (TM), a company with a sterling reputation for innovation as well surging sales that could catapult it into the No. 1 position globally sometime this year. That leaves GM and its stable of eight auto brands warring on two related fronts: the first, staving off Japanese competition while attempting to cut costs at its varied divisions, which range from Saturn to Hummer; the second, fighting for relevance and quality in the eyes of consumers. Now the company has begun showing products aimed at clawing back lost territory.

A new version of Cadillac's flagship sports sedan, for example, features a "cut-and-sew" process by which coverings on the instrument panel, center console, and door trim are cut, sewn, and wrapped by hand, allowing for sartorial flourishes such as French stitching. It's the kind of detailing light years away from recent GM products. "We've learned the difference between what is expensive and what looks expensive," says Rand.

GM's Design Drive Hits the Road


GMI Opinion-
A number of interesting new pictures are shown in this article. It looks like GM is really committed to producing some beautiful interiors, and really focusing on the details of great design. In the article is shown some beautiful new steering wheels, high tech features and futuristic interior designs. Very impressive, the product revolution is under way. Toyota beware.




Much more at article link (2 Pages):
GM's Design Drive Hits the Road
 

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Sweet. So nice to finally see not one but three different steering wheels! lol. Seriously, great to see confirmation that GM has not forgot the subtle yett important little details as well. Once Gm gets in the swing of things (i.e. iout of the red and in the black) I believe we will see great things coming.
 

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megeebee said:
\This is still a great improvement on the current car.
I think the key is that it is a great improvement over the current car. This should hold the market over until an all new STS comes out...
 

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wow i raelly like it and they got a new wheel to replace the ugly old one plus i like the new keys
 

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Xenon said:
WOW, Thats a Buick keyfob!?!?!
That, most certianly should be a Caddilac keyfob.
I know I agree. It looks better than the cadillac fob they show.
 

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Wow, there are some pretty cool things in there. I wish Gm would actually get on this and build some of these high-tech key fobs, cool lights, steering wheels, and dash boards. That would make their cars better than anything that Toyota could produce! They have the ability, but will they do it??
 

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Kar Krazie said:
Wow, there are some pretty cool things in there. I wish Gm would actually get on this and build some of these high-tech key fobs, cool lights, steering wheels, and dash boards. That would make their cars better than anything that Toyota could produce! They have the ability, but will they do it??
Yeah, these things looks so great you'd think that they are just far off concepts, etc. The great thing about it is that they're for real. This is all under way to come in future products. For proof in the change at GM, look at the CTS, Malibu, Enclave, Volt concept etc. GM is not doing things the old way; they aren't cheaping out, they are doing it right. GM is back, and better then ever. Now, the perception part of it needs to be dealt with. And that's starting to change; a perception turnaround is coming: GM will make the Volt and win a huge perception battle right there. The product development team is just getting spooled up, the best is truly yet to come.
 

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1) That's not the CTS steering wheel. It looks like a better wheel -- only 4 spoked. The center isn't as fat. MUCH improved.
2) The Buick key is much more attractive and more stylish than the generic Cadillac fob. In fact, it makes the Cadillac fob look pathetic.
3) Interesting center stack compartment below the Nav screen.
 

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mgescuro said:
1) That's not the CTS steering wheel. It looks like a better wheel -- only 4 spoked. The center isn't as fat. MUCH improved.
2) The Buick key is much more attractive and more stylish than the generic Cadillac fob. In fact, it makes the Cadillac fob look pathetic.
3) Interesting center stack compartment below the Nav screen.
You're right, it's not. It's a CTS style steering wheel. It fits in with the design in the CTS. I like both of them a lot.
 

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Oh my!!! That is just... BEAUTIFUL!!!

I love it I love it I love it!!!

If GM keeps this up... Toyo needs to really beware....

HERE's FOR THE HOME TEAM!!!
 

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So the article basically says that the black tie radios were phase one, and what we see in the CTS is phase 2--namely independent components without plug in dash units with rectangular frames.

The CTS may have a bit too much of the everything-is-buttons issue, but this is great news to all who were tired of seeing the same stereo define the shape of so many interiors. Let's hope that this is as much an improvement as the black tie radio was over these:

...followed by Phase 1...

...followed by Phase 2...
 

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eb110americana said:
So the article basically says that the black tie radios were phase one, and what we see in the CTS is phase 2--namely independent components without plug in dash units with rectangular frames.

The CTS may have a bit too much of the everything-is-buttons issue, but this is great news to all who were tired of seeing the same stereo define the shape of so many interiors. Let's hope that this is as much an improvement as the black tie radio was over these:

...followed by Phase 1...

...followed by Phase 2...
Actually, I would say the radio at the top is Phase 1. While it still isn't great, it was an good improvement over the old "big button" Delphi radios they were using prior.
 

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Maybe there are still surprise or two in store for New York...



loving the the buick and STS steering wheels, love the 08 CTS as well.

the buick key and fob are nice, but i think one piece keyfobs are the way to go.
 

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sigma said:
]

That's a Buick steering wheel? I'm impressed.

Get this stuff out soon GM.
I hate to be the party pooper again... but that's the STS steering wheel with the CTS center!!
Phase 2 of steering wheel sharing begins. :(

That being said... Lower Left of the pic is what the Cadillac steering wheels need to be from BLS to ESV to XLR.

 

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BusinessWeek said:
"We've found that these handshake components—their feel, their sound, their actuation—really are for customers an indicator for the entire vehicle, windows of insight into the car," says Zak.
If they read ANY of my posts, GM would have figured it out with out researching it!!!
Nice to see GM moving along. Pretty soon, they'll be on par with teh competition... and then exceed them. The sooner the better.
 
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