Currently reading: New car designs should be 'handled with caution' says Fiat design boss
Fiat's global design boss warns against designers producing controversial cars like the Multipla
Jim Holder
News
1 min read
12 November 2013

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.”

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typos1 12 November 2013

The Multipla always looked

The Multipla always looked great and still does, Fiat didnt do it any favours by selling it with black bumpers though, it looked stupid without painted bumpers.
MikeSpencer 12 November 2013

Truely controversial styling is too risky nowadays

Poorly judged styling has cost manufacturers dearly in the past. That's why they all use focus groups and typically play it safe now. Remember the fuss surrounding the launch of these models: Ford Sierra Ford Scorpio Mk2 Bangle's 5, 6 and 7-series BMWs Subaru Impreza Mk2 Hyundai Coupe (4 headlight model) It's inconceivable a manufacturer would do something similar today.
Beastie_Boy 12 November 2013

Wasn't the Ford Sierra a huge success?

I remember as a child my uncle turning up in a new Ford Sierra and I thought he'd arrived from space... My dad had a Citroen Dyane at the time so I can be forgiven for thinking almost every car I saw had just arrived from space. I'm off the ebay now to search for a Dyane...
MikeSpencer 12 November 2013

Beastie_Boy wrote:I remember

Beastie_Boy wrote:
I remember as a child my uncle turning up in a new Ford Sierra and I thought he'd arrived from space...
Yes, the Sierra proved to be a very successful car for Ford but when it was launched it can't be underestimated just how much the styling split opinion, remember it was a direct replacement for the ageing Cortina. I'm old enough to remember watching the Sierra being discussed on television news back in the day - that's controversial.
Beastie_Boy 12 November 2013

Given the jump in styling from Cortina to Sierra, I can understa

MikeSpencer wrote:
Beastie_Boy wrote:
I remember as a child my uncle turning up in a new Ford Sierra and I thought he'd arrived from space...
Yes, the Sierra proved to be a very successful car for Ford but when it was launched it can't be underestimated just how much the styling split opinion, remember it was a direct replacement for the ageing Cortina. I'm old enough to remember watching the Sierra being discussed on television news back in the day - that's controversial.
Beastie_Boy 12 November 2013

Given the jump in styling from Cortina to Sierra,

MikeSpencer wrote:
Beastie_Boy wrote:
I remember as a child my uncle turning up in a new Ford Sierra and I thought he'd arrived from space...
Yes, the Sierra proved to be a very successful car for Ford but when it was launched it can't be underestimated just how much the styling split opinion, remember it was a direct replacement for the ageing Cortina. I'm old enough to remember watching the Sierra being discussed on television news back in the day - that's controversial.
I can understand the controversy.
HumberView 12 November 2013

Quote: I can understand the

Quote:
I can understand the controversy.
Aah but can you pronounce it correctly? I'd much rather look at the orig Multipla than the revised version. Also the 500L is apparently a good car but so unignoringly cataclysmically uncomfortably disproportioned. Bring back 1982.
Simplicity is key 12 November 2013

Focus groups

Focus groups are a waste of money in the car industry... You do a test, the car comes out 3 years later. Fine but a lot can happen in 3 years. It only takes a product such as an iPhone to reorientate millions of people's perspectives. If you employ good designers you have people that have offset lives. They see design with a 4 year head start and see trends emerging or they create the trends. Asking the lay man you can only expect to get an opinion based on today and yesterday which means if your design is well received it's probably not as modern as it should be. A successful design challenges people and it should divide opinion. Testers look for the marmite effect. They look for a passionate response whether it be good or bad...
stagata1 12 November 2013

Ideas v Reality

What starts out as a great idea on paper and appeals as a concept soon turns into production reality with bulk, weight to meet safety regs and the ability to turn it into a crossover for marketing! Fiat L and MINI Counrtryman being cases in point. Yuk.

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