With the growing importance of the Chinese auto market as it increasingly influences changing needs and trends, today in Beijing saw the grand opening of Daimler’s fifth Mercedes-Benz advanced design studio worldwide.
Covering almost 1,000 square meters, this latest studio will contribute to the future design of Mercedes-Benz automobiles, the four other studios being located in Germany, Italy, Japan and the USA. Present at the opening were Mr. Ulrich Walker, Chairman and CEO of Daimler Northeast Asia Ltd., Mr. Steffen Köhl, Head of Advanced Design Global Mercedes-Benz, and Professor Olivier Boulay, Vice President of the Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design Center of China.
Ulrich Walker said, “The opening of the Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design Center in Beijing, underlines Daimler’s commitment to China, by recognizing the increasing importance of this market and the influence it is having on design trends and mobility solutions worldwide – as such, this studio will play an essential part of our clearly defined strategy to ensure sustainable business growth. With China predicted to be our largest market globally by 2015, through annual sales of 300,000 vehicles, design influences from this region will become more important in the cars of tomorrow.”
Steffen Köhl added: “For us at Mercedes-Benz, we see design as a trademark – design has been shaping our image since our beginnings, defining our core values of fascination, responsibility and perfection. It is not a matter of chasing fads but working on long-living, outstanding, sensual and sporty design. Mercedes-Benz Design will always enhance our brand, ensuring our ideas meet the highest standards in aesthetics, technology, performance, comfort and safety, in line with our ‘The best or nothing’ brand philosophy.”
Professor Olivier Boulay further commented, “With Beijing being a dynamic and vibrant megacity, it is progressively shaping future design trends, making the establishment of our Advanced Design Center here timely. As designers, we need to ‘live in the future’, thinking at least two or three vehicle generations ahead. For us, that means considering every aspect of future mobility, including things such as town planning and improvements in infrastructure. This new studio will provide a creative environment for us all to indulge our imaginations, free of commercial constraints.”
Design is integral to brand identity, particularly for Mercedes-Benz, which is celebrating 125 years as inventor of the automobile. All designers at the five studios, centrally managed by Germany, play an important role in envisioning future mobility solutions – not only next generation series production models, but models that will grace our roads in three or more decades – ensuring each Mercedes-Benz looks fresh, aesthetic and stylish, without losing the traditional gene pool and brand identity.
The new Beijing-based Advanced Design Center is no exception and will serve as a seismograph, recording and analyzing stylistic trends and incorporating them into the creative process. In particular, the design team will strongly draw on inspiration from their surroundings in China, taking into account cultural and environmental influences, such as road congestion and lack of parking, to truly think about all aspects of future mobility. With over 10 staff from different countries, including France, China, Malaysia, Japan and the Philippines, the multi-cultural environment allows for a complete international approach, enhancing creativity in the development of mobility solutions for the world – both for the interior and exterior design of future generation vehicles.
Although Daimler now has a dedicated design studio in Beijing for Mercedes-Benz cars, there has actually been a design office here since the beginning of 2009, working on various projects. In fact one such project, already being hailed a design icon, is the smart escooter concept shown at last year’s Paris Auto Show, which is a nod to future intelligent green mobility solutions. With a dynamic, elegant appearance, the compact dimensions of this scooter have been designed to incorporate many features, including ample storage space and safety features such as an airbag, ABS anti-lock brake system, as well as Blind Spot Assist. One of the most innovative design features is the smartphone, which serves as the scooter’s control and communications center. The celebrated design is a promising sign of what is yet to come from the Beijing design team.
As China continues to influence the auto industry, Daimler will continue to expand its business activities here and through its Mercedes-Benz brand, will carry on reinventing the car with innovative designs to realize an emission-free and accident-free world, leading the way in intelligent mobility solutions for future generations.
Source: Daimler AG