It isn’t uncommon to see manufacturers designing a similar-looking range of cars across model lines, but it’s a move Hyundai’s head of design is strongly against.
It takes a trainspotter to tell a Mercedes-Benz C-Class from an E- or S-Class, or even a BMW 3 Series from the 5 and 7 Series – a type of confusion Hyundai is keen to avoid.
Speaking to media at the 2018 New York motor show, head of Hyundai design, Luc Donckerwolke, said this design philosophy is nothing short of boring.
“You will see soon, I mean, it’s a bit too early to talk about it but at the end of this year or the beginning of next year there will be already some cars that will show how we will not have a need for similar style,” Donckerwolke told the assembled crowd.
“And not only differentiating between segments but also between class. So there will be other cars in the lineup that will have a differentiated style.
“So we are definitely tailoring the design to the customer, and not just to multiplying first of all because it’s boring as a designer to just do something and let the engineers scale it.
“We don’t want to do that, I mean, we definitely want to specify the design, to tailor the design to a specific customer,” he elaborated.
“It’s also because of the volume, because of the presence of different markets and because of the specific issue we have, being a Korean manufacturer or market share in Korea is together about 60 to 65 per cent of the market.
“So imagine 65 per cent of the cars on the road being from two different producers. If the cars have the same design, I mean you are creating a really boring landscape. So I don’t want to do that.”
Genesis, on the other hand, will run a more consistent approach to design because of its limited product line and focus on being a luxury manufacturer.
“Because we have limited volume, and also because we want to make sure that like every luxury product that you have a more, let’s say a stronger brand DNA.”
“Which is applied, diversified between the different lines up like, for instance SUVs, coupes, sedans, but the generic DNA is the same, the way we interpret is different, but we will not see the same grill applied to an SUV or a sedan and a coupe. They will have different interpretations,” Donckerwolke said.
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