Two very interesting concepts from Chevrolet at the Detroit motor show today. Not for how they look, but what they represent.
The Tru 140S and the Code 130R were conceived away from the boardroom and design studios. Instead, GM was briefed by younger members of the general public about exactly what concept cars it should create.
More specifically, as part of a new marketing strategy that could well end up influencing product planners, GM went out and asked the emerging Facebook generation (ie the car buyers of tomorrow) what sort of cars they could fall in love with in the same way they've taken to their iPhones and social networks.
"We want four seat coupes that look good and have room for our friends," was what GM was told. Hence the two concepts that we see at Detroit today. The concepts will be seen again at a future motor show once GM has been told by Detroit show goers exactly what direction the interiors of the two concepts should go in.
While I doubt we'll see either in production anytime soon (not least because I'm not convinced the 1.4 petrol turbo that's said to power both cars has also been engineered longitudinally for the rear-drive Code 130R), GM has presented an interesting proposition to how the cars of tomorrow will be conceived.
Listening and responding to market demands seems a pretty sure fire way of ensuring your car will be a success, so long as it looks good and is thoroughly engineered. After all, it's better people telling you what they want rather than you tell them what they want.
But a line of caution. The late Steve Jobs said he never listened to what products people told him Apple should be making as by the time they'd come out, people would want something else. And in an industry such as the auto one where development is anything but a five-minute job, perhaps GM should still be trusting its instincts and exercising its right to autonomy when thinking of the cars of tomorrow.