Car design secrets

From concept to sale: the journey of car design

Have you ever wondered how a car comes from start to finish? It is very interesting stuff, and you have come to the right place to read about the process! Keep reading to learn about how an idea turns into the car you may bring home!

  • The birth of the idea: Generally, manufacturers first think about what their new vehicle is going to contribute to the automobile market. How is this vehicle going to specifically serve prospective buyers? What is the fuel economy going to be? What about its curb-weight? What kind of engine will it have? Those are just some of the questions designers think about to begin with, and they do some market research to answer them. Car design team members often spend a lot of time discussing what should go into this vehicle to come to a concept vehicle image to work with.
  • Putting it on paper: Now comes a draft sketch to illustrate what the car will actually look like. Both exterior and interior sketches are done. These sketches include exterior and interior colors, as well as trim materials. Designers also use computers for these sketches because they allow for assessment of many different designs quickly. And we would like to elaborate a bit on color design: a vehicle’s color really gives it its personality, and for this reason designers like to take into consideration colors currently popular in fashion and interior design to decide what colors to offer for a car. Designers also see it important to carefully coordinate colors.
  • Then designers build a respective design out of clay, and this design is actually in 3D. However, it is small. Many designers use computers for digital modeling, by generating a 3D image. Later, a certain design is built out of clay in a life-size form that involves plenty of molding and chiseling.
  • A concept vehicle is often put together to present to management, and possibly goes to auto shows.
  • Then there is the engineering, often done at the same time as the design. At this stage more research is done, particularly on advanced technologies, to find out which ones would work best in the vehicle. Some of these technologies could include plastic molding, painting, electronic controls, motors, engines and/or transmissions. Fuel-economy evaluations are done, and the vehicle is developed for crashworthiness. The vehicle is also equipped for emissions certification at this time.
  • Now it is time to produce the vehicle in mass numbers. People are trained on how to apply their skills to building this vehicle.

Finally the vehicle officially “launches,” as it heads out to dealerships. At this stage the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) is set, and the product is officially introduced to dealerships, like to our friends at Brown-Daub FIAT. How quickly the vehicles will get to dealers is planned out, and the vehicle is marketed to the public on social media, press release websites, etc.