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Old 10-19-2012, 03:17 PM
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car design thread

Lincoln opened their dedicated design studio to the press yesterday:
http://www.thedetroitbureau.com/2012...design-center/
additional pix here:
http://www.autoblog.com/2012/10/19/l...design-studio/
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Old 10-19-2012, 10:39 PM
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john:
this is cool.
but it pales in comparison to cadillac's design!
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Old 10-20-2012, 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted by photonut View Post
john:
this is cool.
but it pales in comparison to cadillac's design!
they definitely have their work cut out for them
but i give them credit for going "all in" to reestablish the brand after all this time
we'll see if they can pull it off

a year ago,my class did a Lincoln sponsored project........most of the foreign students had no clue about Lincoln cars or the brand
it was a struggle for some
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Old 10-22-2012, 08:59 PM
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Great idea, to keep some designers employed for a couple more years.....

IMHO, Mullaly's first big mistake. This will not end well. Should have kept the focus on the rest of the brand [FORD] and written this off. Lincolns buyers have died for chrissake!
The current package has absolutely nothing going for it. (I did a test drive at an event; BORING.) Were I a shareholder, I would be emailing the Investor Relations. Sad.

Anyone else think this will be a success?
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Old 10-23-2012, 07:35 AM
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Originally Posted by tritone View Post
Great idea, to keep some designers employed for a couple more years.....

IMHO, Mullaly's first big mistake. This will not end well. Should have kept the focus on the rest of the brand [FORD] and written this off. Lincolns buyers have died for chrissake!
The current package has absolutely nothing going for it. (I did a test drive at an event; BORING.) Were I a shareholder, I would be emailing the Investor Relations. Sad.

Anyone else think this will be a success?
As I said,if they're serious,and i believe they are,it will take at least 10 yrs to make something like this happen.Maybe Mullaly's successor will decide to pull the plug.Who knows.

Will they pull it off..........I wouldn't bet my money that they will.Way too much competition,total lack of any brand recognition & awareness.Mediocre products,etc.

But anything is possible with the right products.Audi certainly came back from the dead after the infamous "unintended acceleration" fiasco in the '80's.This will take a long time playing out,IMO.
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Old 10-23-2012, 09:30 PM
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looks good in blue too!
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Old 10-24-2012, 04:26 AM
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looks good in blue too!
absolutely georgeous car
breaks most of the "traditional" accepted surfacing tenet's
I do prefer it in it's original red however
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Old 10-24-2012, 09:39 PM
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......Audi certainly came back from the dead after the infamous "unintended acceleration" fiasco in the '80's......
Agree with that; though I would argue that Audi had/has a much stronger focus on engineering, which drives their overall product design, and which Lincoln appears to lack (rebadged something or other..). I'm sure Ford could do the same if there was good reason.
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Old 10-25-2012, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by jm2 View Post
they definitely have their work cut out for them
but i give them credit for going "all in" to reestablish the brand after all this time
we'll see if they can pull it off

a year ago,my class did a Lincoln sponsored project........most of the foreign students had no clue about Lincoln cars or the brand
it was a struggle for some

it seems lincoln has tried several times over the last 10 years (or so), but not a 100% effort IMO ...they can't re-establish a brand on a single model, and they won't if they dont follow-through

the audi comparison is a bit like the bmw-caddy example in the other thread IMO

i think lincoln has a great style they could draw from, different from current caddies, but we'll see?


as for the effort, and need for more "style" i say "bravo" ha,ha
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Last edited by JeremyJon; 10-25-2012 at 06:19 PM.
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Old 10-25-2012, 05:57 PM
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My take is that FoMoCo has horrible tendencies to introduce a model then let in languish until they get around to replacing it. Effectively no effort to develop it through the cycle which then means that it is seriously irrelevant by the time its replacement comes to market.

FoMoCo has a history of believing that trim and end caps are enough to differentiate their cars. There really is nothing particularly wrong about good use of the parts bin but they need to be differentiated. Then with the Lincoln they really need to make sure that it is not just a trimmed up Ford for the price spread.

FoMoCo may think they are committed but the proof will be the product funding and if anyone with the power to make approvals will take risks or make all the easy compromises.

Does Ford even have someone with a Lutz like appreciation of product and conviction? Lutz left Ford once because the answer was they did not want anyone of that sort.

What is the take on Mark Fields? Does he have conviction for product? It matters since he is the odds on favorite to succeed Mulally.

Jeff
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Old 10-25-2012, 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Kennedy View Post
My take is that FoMoCo has horrible tendencies to introduce a model then let in languish until they get around to replacing it. Effectively no effort to develop it through the cycle which then means that it is seriously irrelevant by the time its replacement comes to market.

FoMoCo has a history of believing that trim and end caps are enough to differentiate their cars. There really is nothing particularly wrong about good use of the parts bin but they need to be differentiated. Then with the Lincoln they really need to make sure that it is not just a trimmed up Ford for the price spread.

FoMoCo may think they are committed but the proof will be the product funding and if anyone with the power to make approvals will take risks or make all the easy compromises.

Does Ford even have someone with a Lutz like appreciation of product and conviction? Lutz left Ford once because the answer was they did not want anyone of that sort.

What is the take on Mark Fields? Does he have conviction for product? It matters since he is the odds on favorite to succeed Mulally.

Jeff
all good points Jeff
Mr. Fields is indeed the heir apparent,but i'm not really sure about his product savvy
Ford does have some people in high positions that are real product guys/gals
next gen Mustang is supposed to be a real departure for them design wise & mechanically

the big question as we've said is are they truly committed? that kind of consistent,unwavering focus on the product for 10-15 years is the only true answer
will they have that?
we'll watch as it plays out
Acura hasn't given up......but I think they're DOA for the most part
that segment of the market is brutal with the Germans & Lexus in control
stay tuned
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Old 10-25-2012, 06:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeremyJon View Post
it seems lincoln has tried several times over the last 10 years (or so), but not a 100% effort IMO ...they can't re-establish a brand on a single model, and they won't if they dont follow-through

the audi comparison is a bit like the bmw-caddy example in the other thread IMO

i think lincoln has a great style they could draw from, different from current caddies, but we'll see?


as for the effort, and need for more "style" i say "bravo" ha,ha
the car looks good too
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Old 10-25-2012, 06:46 PM
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Originally Posted by jm2 View Post
all good points Jeff
Mr. Fields is indeed the heir apparent,but i'm not really sure about his product savvy
Ford does have some people in high positions that are real product guys/gals
next gen Mustang is supposed to be a real departure for them design wise & mechanically

the big question as we've said is are they truly committed? that kind of consistent,unwavering focus on the product for 10-15 years is the only true answer
will they have that?
we'll watch as it plays out
Acura hasn't given up......but I think they're DOA for the most part
that segment of the market is brutal with the Germans & Lexus in control
stay tuned
Consistent with pushing forward. Have one really good winner and trying to recycle it because the people in charge didn't understand why it "worked" the first time is a recipe for demise.

Lots of stories from multiple sources that throughout Henry II all that mattered was counting the beans and no product leadership was the entire game plan. Every once in a while they got lucky in spite of themselves. The second axiom of Ford was that one's political closeness to a Ford family member was way more important than anything else. Ford was known that their internal political battles were a blood sport. Don't know if Mulally's tenure has managed to stop all of that or not.

The press report of the new Lincoln Design Center is typical PR crap. The 4 walls of the building never has or will create anything. It is the talent inside and leadership provided. Great work can come out a lousy building and the greatest Taj Mahal will not compensate for mediocrity.

Jeff
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Old 10-25-2012, 07:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Kennedy View Post
Consistent with pushing forward. Have one really good winner and trying to recycle it because the people in charge didn't understand why it "worked" the first time is a recipe for demise.

Lots of stories from multiple sources that throughout Henry II all that mattered was counting the beans and no product leadership was the entire game plan. Every once in a while they got lucky in spite of themselves. The second axiom of Ford was that one's political closeness to a Ford family member was way more important than anything else. Ford was known that their internal political battles were a blood sport. Don't know if Mulally's tenure has managed to stop all of that or not.

The press report of the new Lincoln Design Center is typical PR crap. The 4 walls of the building never has or will create anything. It is the talent inside and leadership provided. Great work can come out a lousy building and the greatest Taj Mahal will not compensate for mediocrity.

Jeff
+1 on the talent thought
My line has always been,you don't need to be in California or insert your creative nirvana here,to be creative.You can be just as creative in Toledo as anywhere else.My contacts in Wolfsburg Germany say it ain't exactly heaven living there,but they are managing to put out some good stuff.

But yes,it's always about leadership.
Simple,but not easy to do.

I was at Ford at the beginning of my career during the HF2 & Iacocca years,and yes it was quite the political jungle,even at the Design Center.
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Old 10-25-2012, 08:08 PM
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+1 on the talent thought
My line has always been,you don't need to be in California or insert your creative nirvana here,to be creative.You can be just as creative in Toledo as anywhere else.My contacts in Wolfsburg Germany say it ain't exactly heaven living there,but they are managing to put out some good stuff.

But yes,it's always about leadership.
Simple,but not easy to do.

I was at Ford at the beginning of my career during the HF2 & Iacocca years,and yes it was quite the political jungle,even at the Design Center.
Communicate with Ex Jr. and he could have gone to GM or Ford and went to Ford. Seemed to be disgusted how Design functioned with the politics and the worst of design by committee creating camels. Too bad his father really got corporately screwed. May have sometimes marched to a different drummer but was intent to lead his own way forward.

Jeff
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Old 10-25-2012, 08:30 PM
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Communicate with Ex Jr. and he could have gone to GM or Ford and went to Ford. Seemed to be disgusted how Design functioned with the politics and the worst of design by committee creating camels. Too bad his father really got corporately screwed. May have sometimes marched to a different drummer but was intent to lead his own way forward.

Jeff
The thing that struck me most at the time,was how they would park a GM product in the studio near the clay Fords/Lincolns/Mercurys in the rails.All the talent they had & that was the best they could do?
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Old 10-25-2012, 08:43 PM
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Seemingly it comes down to from the top of FoMoCo it was less risky to copy GM and be a follower than it was to try to find their own way. Rooms full of talent that were used to make the best alternative iteration of a GM design. Teter said one time that the basic cross section was handed to design at the start of the program.

Of course what should one expect from those times. A Mercury was nothing but a Ford model with somewhat different caps and different chrome moldings. Terter said the corporate mentality is that the public would never see that there was no sheetmetal difference; "they" would perceive it being a really different design. Ford had unmitigated "sameness" way before Ribycki and his keepers forced that path upon GM.

Of course when Iacocca joined Sperlich at ChryCo he did the same there with even fewer changes.

Jeff
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Old 10-29-2012, 05:48 PM
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thank goodness they're still using clay for the design process:


Design Lincoln
Clay helps bring Lincoln models to life
Tried-and-true tool has a place in brand's new design studio


Bradford Wernle
Automotive News -- October 29, 2012 - 12:01 am ET

DETROIT -- When Ford Motor Co. created the 1964 Mustang, designers used 60 clay models in the process of perfecting the first generation of the now iconic pony car.

Five decades later, designers needed just four clay models to create the production version of the 2013 Lincoln MKZ, according to Al Biggs, a design modeling manager at a new design studio dedicated to the Lincoln brand in Dearborn, Mich.

That was four more than some in the industry might have expected. There was a time in the not-too-distant past when automotive designers such as Biggs believed the clay model was bound for extinction, made obsolete by computer-aided design tools.

"We thought digital was going to replace clay" completely, Biggs said during an open house for the new Lincoln studio in Ford's sprawling product development complex. "Then we realized that digital was part of the toolbox," but not all of it. "A lot of areas are difficult to interpret digitally."

Areas such as the angle where the A-pillar, the car's fender and the front of the door come together are difficult to visualize on a computer screen, no matter how good the digital image, Biggs said. Those three-dimensional elements look even more realistic after modelers apply Di-Noc, a sheer carbon fiber film that fits over the clay as tightly as skin.

Biggs, a 35-year studio veteran, can remember when designers used as much as 10,000 pounds of clay to sculpt a single model. Today, a lot less clay is required.

Designers start with computer-generated or manual drawings of a car. They build from there applying the clay to an armature, a wooden or steel structure underneath. Then a computerized milling machine sculpts the surface, and modelers work the fine details using hand tools.


Lincoln now has 150 designers and design support staffers working at the new studio. Outsiders rarely get a glimpse behind the doors of automakers' design studios, where future products take shape in closely guarded secrecy.

Lincoln took the unusual step of opening the studio to journalists as part of a campaign to show that Ford is committed to the struggling brand. But the open house coincided with the reassignment of C.J. O'Donnell, Lincoln's marketing chief.

Lincoln has its own engineers and marketers. But for design, "this is the first dedicated space for Lincoln since the '70s," said Raj Nair, Ford product development chief.

Lincoln executives are keen to convince the world that future Lincoln vehicles will not be upscale versions of Fords, a criticism that has often been leveled at Lincoln in the past.

J Mays, Ford Motor Co.'s global design chief, said the staffers will be dedicated solely to Lincoln and will not work on Ford-brand vehicles.

"We learned our lesson long ago. If you can't get somebody's head around a brand on a daily basis," elements of sibling brands will start to creep into the designs, he said.

During a tour of the studio, Lincoln designers showed one of the clay models used in the development of the 2013 MKZ along with a fiberglass mockup used to simulate paint and surfaces. That MKZ, due to go on sale in November, is the first of a generation of Lincolns designed to lure a new, younger generation of customers. A compact crossover, possibly called the MKC, is due for the 2014 model year along with a redesigned MKS sedan.

Lincoln has promised it will introduce four all-new or revamped vehicles in the next four years.

Mark Fields, Ford's president of the Americas and the man many believe will eventually succeed Alan Mulally as Ford CEO, dropped by the studio open house.

Fields said Ford executives know Lincoln must be distinct and upscale, which is why the brand needs its own design studio.

"We really understand that a luxury brand is essential for us to be a global and successful enterprise," Fields said. "There's not a single full-line successful global line maker that does not have a successful, vibrant and relevant luxury brand."



Read more: http://www.autonews.com/article/2012...#ixzz2AjNUENUx
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Old 10-30-2012, 07:27 AM
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Corvette Design @ '60's

anyone with an interest in Corvette design during the Bill Mitchell era might be interested in reading this interview with Roy Lonberger,one of the lucky few that had an opportunity to work on many of those great cars:

http://deansgarage.com/2012/an-inter...berger-part-1/
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Old 10-30-2012, 08:16 AM
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Quote:
Eighth, the emergence of high technology and computer efficiency was offering new and better ways of doing things, threatening some management who would not/could not adapt to change.
Not mentioning by name, but that is is a reference to somebody who is family. He tells the story a little bit longer than a sentence. Nobody really had thought about what it took to make a car from design to production. George mapped it out quite exquisitely and intensely. I'd bet some of the resistance was that he was from the Science labs; not directly involved with building the cars.
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