The trend towards more divisive car design must be handled with extreme caution, according to Fiat’s global head of design, Lorenzo Ramaciotti.
Fiat is currently challenging Royal College of Art students in London to design the Fiat Panda and Fiat 500 of 2020, but while Ramaciotti has pushed them to explore wider opportunities for each vehicle, he has warned against being too challenging.
“It is true that if you build a car to appeal to everyone that you risk appealing to nobody – it is better to be loved by some and hated by others than be loved by nobody,” he said. “But you cannot be too controversial, as you risk appealing to one member of a family, for instance, but not the other.
“I saw it with the Fiat Multipla. It was brilliantly packaged, rode well and so on, but in the same family one person would love it and another would say they never wanted to be seen in it. The veto effect was too strong.
“Creating a smart car is one thing. But the design must also demonstrate that the buyer is as smart as your design team. It has to work for you and the customer.”