Why do most cars look so boring
How are the cars?
Imagine that you have just been hired as a design engineer in a large automotive company. Then your boss calls you to him and asks: “are You ready to develop the most innovative, breathtaking, original cars that have not seen the world?” But alas, enough to imagine, because your boss will not say something like that even if you do the chief engineer of the automobile. Yes, it’s possible something similar and could tell the CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk, to his rookies, who only were employed in the company. But most likely from Elon musk you will hear about the high-speed autotunnel, rockets and fly to Mars than about the cars.
In fact in any industry where mass-produce cars, it’s different. To learn how we design vehicles, etc., why do so many models look bored, and also why production cars look much worse than stunning conceptcar, we turned to the design engineer one of the car companies, who revealed us some secrets of their work and some of the processes of the birth of a new model.
Know instructed our interlocutor on the first day of their work in the company? His boss on the first working day informed him that the company is considering to remove one of the models with the shock absorbers glove box lid. Then he said, “I need You to compare the structure of the glove box without shock absorbers from other competitors to ensure that in case of refusal of shock absorbers in the glove compartment of the company’s products will not be worse than the competing cars. Prepare a presentation and then we’ll start the preparation and creation of documentation necessary for changes in the design of the glove box”.
As you can see the design engineer of the car company is not requested to create the world’s best cars. The fact is that working a car company and automobile different from our perceptions.
We will try to elaborate on this topic in the article today, thanks to the information we’ve received directly from someone who has long been not a major car company.
Our Internet edition is traditionally monitors many autonomically in the auto world. We always attract like and our readers, of various new car models. Especially those who no one else saw. Unfortunately, in recent years, more new cars are becoming boring because of the controversial design, which many do not understand. Why is this happening? Not really in the world no more good automotive design conference and the design engineers? Actually that’s not the reason. It’s much more difficult.
The most interesting is that when the public have a negative meets some Antonovich on the market, the reason most often blame the designers. This happens because many of us think that many of today’s boring cars are “nerds” with glasses who spend days sitting in silence at their desks thinking of new ways to design of the motor companies, with an aim to create gloomy, ugly cars to take revenge on those who scoffed at them in school. Of course it is not. In fact, the team of design engineers in any plant generally looks positive, and the atmosphere in the team is conducive to the creation of beautiful, high-quality, luxurious and exciting cars.
But despite the fact that the engineers at any of the car companies play an important role in the design process of cars, in the process of creating any car there are other players that have a significant influence on the final appearance and design of the car.
And so in any car companies as a rule there are three main groups responsible for the development of cars: engineering (development), design (modeling), financial Department (accounting control in the development of the cars).
Each Department employs a large number of people. In the end, all these people are responsible for those cars that we see around us, many of which we don’t like.
Now let’s talk about each group and each stage of development to try to figure out why typically the stock cars look boring compared to the concepts.
Engineering / Development
The engineers at car companies are responsible for the design of the ribs, loop, brackets, various bearings, shafts all other components associated with the structure or functional part of the car.
In the end good engineers are able to make your car worth 1.2 million were high-quality and reliable. On the other hand, bad engineers on the other hand can make your car worth 5 million is unreliable and of poor quality. And the most amazing thing in the modern automotive industry is not uncommon. Examples of such abound when, for example, the luxury expensive car in 20 000 km is starting to come apart the center console like it’s “torpedo” in the old VAZ 2108 and Vice versa there are plenty of cars cost a little more than 1 million rubles, which do not crack and do not fall apart even after 500 thousand kilometers. It is a merit of engineers who are in the design process to find the perfect ratio quality/price for a certain model.
If you are interested in what engineering is one way to look at a single item in your car, which did one or even a few engineers. For this you must pay attention to the plastic door trim of your car. No you don’t have to pay attention to a stylized curved surface or grain plastic. In order to see what engineers do you have to remove the trim panel from the door and turn it. You will see ribs across the surface of the skin. Then note the little plastic door clips that everyone hates because of their brittleness, etc. that is exactly what is up with the engineers. Including our interviewee had experience of creating such a miracle of automotive components.
In fact those little clips are playing crucial for the duration and reliability of operation of the vehicle.
Someone will say that of course in any industry there are engineers who are doing a minor detail. But someone does and real difficult job creating engines and transmissions?
Yes, of course, each engineer is usually responsible for their part. And in departments dealing with engines or transmissions, the engineers of course do your work cycle. But unfortunately, even in these departments the most talented engineers do not decide what will stand the engine on a Kia Rio. As a result, even if a group of engineers to figure out how without significantly increasing the cost of Kia Rio is equipped with its V12 engine with 11 thousand rpm, it is unlikely that this engine will appear on the car. Usually the job of design engineers, even in departments to develop engines more boring. For example, it is not uncommon when one engineer can months to develop the dipstick for the engine.
Yes, of course, you may in the company of a Koenigsegg engineers taking a more active part in the creation of engines and other vehicle components, but in any case, the decision-making process remains not for them.
Usually the engineers at the car looks like. Group or team of engineers gets the job. For example, to reduce the weight of the future of the new generation Toyota Camry. Then decided how this can be achieved and weighed all the pluses and minuses. Next, it defines how you will behave light-weight car, if you hit, for example, in the pit. Will there be much to bounce the car in case if you don’t change the suspension design, etc.
By the way, many think that the engineers responsible for the design shape of the car. But in fact, the shape responds to a completely different Department – Department of styling or simply a group of designers headed by chief designer autocompanies.
Modeling / Design / Styling
Probably the design stage of any car that is associated with the design, it is easier to understand than the work of a civil engineer, which can be months to develop the dipstick for the engine.
It all starts with the sketches of artists who begin to paint various forms of bodywork, interior and wheels. This is the most magical phase of the car, because literally out of nowhere from the individual lines on paper or on the computer, you receive a beautiful car.
So designers come up with and decide how it will look exterior and interior of the car. Also, the designers decide what it must feel like customers buying a new model and seeing the combination of external design and interior.
But by developing a new generation of car designers usually adhere to certain limits in the approved in the company’s “design language”, which is usually approved by the chief designer of the automobile and the leadership of the company in the near future.
“Design language” typically starts with concept cars that share something in common in design. Thus is formed the future image of the brand. Further, based on concepts of the automotive companies produce a new generation of vehicles, or use some components, shapes and lines in the design applied when creating a concept car.
However, there is a huge problem. Everyone wants their favorite company has released the most beautiful cars in the world. And believe me every company has designers who can design and come up with stunning models. Even AVTOVAZ. Why, then, the design of Russian cars leave much to be desired? And why do many car brands are boring and sometimes ugly cars?
It is actually easy and simple. Good things in the world cost money. The same applies to cars. That is, the more beautiful and stunning looks of the car, the more expensive it is. But most auto companies in the world can afford to release expensive products, because this will lead to the financial collapse of the company. The main goal of most car companies is a tough economy in the process of development and design, and cost reduction in the process of mass production. The thing is that the profit of car manufacturers per car is severely restricted in contrast to the company Ferrari, which produces a limited number of cars that are worth millions. Accordingly, the share of the profits from each machine Ferrari in the hundreds or thousands of times more than every car produced in large quantities in mass production on the Assembly line.
Because of austerity in serial production act completely different vehicles, which differ significantly from their beautiful and stunning concepts. That is why, in preparation for the release of the production model are often deprived of different intakes, aerodynamic body components, body panels and other beautiful items.
Sometimes the truth of what they had seen earlier in the concept car exterior or interior can still be found on production cars as a complete package. But more often the manufacturer simply decides to remove many of the elements that was shown on the concept in order to save money.
Such savings are very important, because this depends directly on what will be the selling prices for the products and the company’s profit from the production of one car. This is especially true in the production of small subcompact cars that if they cost too much nobody will buy them. With more expensive cars, the manufacturer can afford some expenses that typically are not noticeable in the holiday cost.
That is why designers and designers can’t run a series of the car of your dreams. They are forced to adjust their ideas under the norms and standards adopted by the company.
Also ties the hands of designers with aerodynamics, which is an important part of the design of any car. Unfortunately, because of the peculiarities of aerodynamics design of the car may not be ideal and amazingly awesome. Unless of course you do not invest in the development of aerodynamics models billions of dollars. But in this case, the mass serial production of this model will be impossible for financial reasons.
In the end, the designers develop the styling of the car given the aerodynamic characteristics and the cost of creating a particular model. As a result, the dream of an ideal design remains for many designers pipe dream.
Believe me, if today, designers would be able to ignore the demands of automobile companies to the aerodynamics, we would have seen a lot of great and beautiful cars.
Plus, don’t forget that in addition to the requirements of modern aerodynamics there are many other rules and security requirements that should be considered when designing cars. For example, the requirements for pedestrian safety, which do not allow designers and designers to create cars with an interesting and aggressive forms the front part.
As you know, when you create any production car it’s all about money, saving and the rate of profit of the company with each issued unit. Of course, neither the engineers nor the designers do not do various financial calculations. For this there is the financial Department that oversees the development of every new car.
It is the financial or accounting Department is often responsible for the fact that many modern cars have become very boring. This division is guilty that does not allow the designers to create the car of your dreams.
And so we come to the most important Department in any companies that is directly involved in costing and cost control in the design and creation of a new model. This is the office that you can blame for empty plugs under the buttons or switches, which are so like to leave in salon of the car of different car companies.
Many of us probably wondered why many of the cars on the center console or between the front seats there are holes that cover the plugs. Many do not understand why if the vehicle comes without certain features and buttons in their place plugs. Does the plant could not set the panel without the holes?
The answer is simple: the Reason why we often see a variety of plugs under button – money. The fact that the Finance Department has calculated that to reduce the cost of production of a particular model you can use a universal console or panel on some trim levels of the car.
Dlower your car is available with a sunroof, but you bought a base model that does not have a sunroof. A car with a sunroof must have a hole in the centre console for sunroof control. But your car is without a sunroof and usually in place of buttons to control the sunroof you can see the plastic plug. Why the automaker has decided to do so? Not really, for cars without sunroof it is impossible to install the panel without the holes? Let me explain.
Unfortunately, the production staff, whose task is to drill the panel holes under buttons for specific configurations. Everything is much more complicated.
Today, almost all console, dashboard, etc. are created using the technology of the tide of plastic under pressure. Usually casting is happening in the mold, which must first be designed and then carved from a large piece of metal for each individual panel.
Unfortunately, the process of creating a mold is very complicated and very expensive. For example, the mold for the center console of a car can cost millions of dollars.
In the end, the manufacturer is easier to create a single, Central console for multiple configurations: for vehicles with sunroof and without sunroof. Accordingly, in the panel for bundling without sunroof you will see the hole for the hatch to be closed by a plastic plug.
If an automotive company decided to equip the console of your car without a hole, she would have had to pay millions of dollars for new molds. In the end, the attempt to remove the small hole in the panel would be very expensive. As you can see it is much easier to produce components for several models.
As you already understood, such calculations of savings and cost optimization accounting Department, which also works within certain limits, summing up the cost of the design and specific model established by the management plan profit.
Order details to calculate which of the components it is cheaper to produce, the Finance Department usually creates a job engineers and designers who designed several variants of those or other details. Then the specialists of the financial Department decide which component will be used in the production process.
So when you laugh at another controversial decision of designers and engineers in your car remember that by and large they are not to blame, certain elements and components look weird, boring and ugly, and sometimes even ridiculous. To blame the Finance Department and in General the austerity policies of the car company.
In General, those who work in the Finance Department if you can save only 10 rubles on the threads, which are stitched headrests in the car, they will do it.
Fortunately, the Finance division could not continue to reduce the cost of production through the use of lower quality materials. The fact that in each country there are government regulatory bodies that monitor the safety of products automobile. In the end, all cars need to be certified.
In some countries before products are put on the mass market cars have to pass a series of tests for compliance with safety standards.
In the end, car companies must produce cars strictly with the established global norms and safety standards.
For example, in the United States the main body that monitors the quality and safety of the motor companies is NHTSA, which not only conducts crash tests of new models of cars, but also ensures that the cars were safe in all respects.
Accordingly, not having received the approval of NHTSA car companies may not sell products in the U.S. market.
If you were to build a car in your garage, for example, from scrap materials, having certain knowledge, you would realize that this is not so hard. But if you build a car-home-made would have had him crash-test to crash, then you would understand why NHTSA exists in America and similar organizations around the world.
Their task is not to allow on the market in the sale appeared autoproduce dangerous for people.
In the end, each country has its list of rules within which each manufacturer is obliged to produce cars. In General, all the rules are about the same and relate to the security produced by the plant products.
These rules, for example, contain hundreds of requirements to materials used in car airbags, etc.
Ultimately, many security requirements are impacting the construction and design of cars.
For example, you probably noticed that many modern cars outwardly began to look somehow boring, but the exterior materials become more fragile.
You may mistakenly think that the engineers and designers in the industry today have lost the taste. You can calculate that way the Finance Department decided to reduce the cost of modern cars. But most likely if you see that some element in your car began to look worse and become more fragile than than the previous generation, the reason for this is the tightening of safety requirements in our day to motor companies.
For example, note the modern fragile front bumper of the car. Do you think that the manufacturers decided to save money? In fact, new safety standards to protect pedestrians, require automobile companies to install on the vehicle bumper fragile that if accident cause less harm to pedestrians.
Also often we notice that some of the materials and finishes of modern cars become on the one hand quality, but on the other hand can look not very nice. The reason for this phenomenon is the same. Strict safety requirements.
For example, many automobiles in recent years has changed the trim materials, due to the fact that many of the finishing components have been recognized as hazardous when ignited. In the end, the automakers were forced to change the trim materials.
Most interesting is that safety requirements for cars are continually evolving. Every year car companies require more and more. That is why many cars in recent years have become similar to each other and do not have quite the interesting design.
Automakers drove into the rigid framework beyond which means a ban on the sale of products.
So the next time you get in your car look around. Think about what you like in your car, and what is not. Then remember that in the car there is nothing that would not be approved by lots of different departments. In your car there is not a single part that is unauthorized would have created a structural engineer or designer. Also remember that if you do not like something in the car, not the fault of the engineers or designers, and in General the whole company because of a policy lagodarya which was created created.
The design of the car is extremely difficult and exhausting process. And each process has its own history.
Try to understand how these different processes connecting to a single project, create a car that should be attractive, high-quality, safe, inexpensive, etc. Realizing all this, you will understand why on the market so few very beautiful car and why almost impossible to create a cheap beautiful and unique car.