Designing a Better Vehicle, Not a Different One
Sometimes there is criticism that when the next generation of a popular vehicle is revealed, the design has simply been tweaked, not transformed.
The criticism is predicated on the idea that because the predecessor was popular because it was transformational vis-à-vis its predecessor, further, radical, change would probably be a good thing.
Arguably, the last three generations of the Chevrolet Malibu can make this point. Here are the 2004, 2008 and 2013 versions of the car.
From 2004 to 2008, a huge difference. Not a great deal between the last and the current models.
But here’s part of what Jony Ive, senior vp of Design at Apple, said about the design of the iPhone 5, a phone that has been criticized in some corners for not being a New, New Thing:
“When you think about your iPhone, it’s probably the object that you use most in your life. It’s the product that you have with you all the time. With this unique relationship that people have with their iPhone, we take changing it really seriously. We don’t just want to make a new phone. We want to make a much better phone.”
Better is important. Not different.
Although the RAV4 has plenty of heritage in the small crossover segment, competition has gotten a whole lot tougher, so Toyota has made significant changes to the fourth-generation model.
The high-end automotive CAD/CAM systems do a whole lot more than their name implies. In addition to design and manufacturing, they have the ability to support analysis, product data management, and more.
Although the term “continuous improvement” is generally associated with another company, Honda is certainly pursuing that approach, as is evidenced by the Accord, which is now in its ninth generation.