The new DS3, customise every feature to suit your style
In the 11 months since Volkswagen launched its online People's Car Project in China, 33 million people have visited the website - way above VW's expectations - and they've submitted 119 000 ideas, three of which were further developed by Volkswagen boffins for display at Auto China 2012.
The 'Music Car' expresses the wish of many Chinese for individual automotive design. Equipped with organic light emitting diodes, the exterior colour of the vehicle changes with the driver's choice of music. More than ever, the car thus becomes a means of self-expression and a fashion statement for young drivers.
The Hover Car is an environmentally-friendly two-seater city car that hovers just above the ground. It's a study of a zero-emissions vehicle that could in future travel along electromagnetic road networks.
Simon Loasby, head of design at Volkswagen Group China, said: “The creative ideas from the 'People's Car Project' give us a valuable insight into what Chinese drivers want.
“The trend is towards safe cars that can easily navigate overcrowded roads and have a personal, emotional and exciting design.”
The 'Smart Key' takes up the trend towards the stronger integration of online technologies in vehicles: the slim 9mm key has a high-resolution touchscreen that keeps the driver up to date on the fuel situation, climate conditions and the car's security via the 3G network. The driver can also monitor the vehicle from a bird's eye perspective through real-time satellite transmission.
VW marketing director Luca de Meo said: “We are no longer just building cars for, but also with our customers, giving us an insight into the design preferences of Chinese customers.”
NEW PROJECT PHASE
The People's Car Project was originally intended to run for a year but it has been such a success that VW has extended in indefinitely. A new project phase will also be launched during the coming months; users will not only be able to submit their design, personalisation and connectivity ideas for tomorrow's mobility, but will also be able to contribute suggestions about the environment.
The drafts will first be evaluated by the entire user community; experts will then assess the concepts and award prizes to the winners.
De Meo explained: “In the long term the People's Car Project will influence our product strategy, although the design of our cars will always reflect the tradition of the Volkswagen brand.”