Friday, January 09, 2004
The auto industry is at it again, focusing on focus groups, and not cars. Here we have women being asked what they want in a vehicle. They want it to be safe, they want more storage bins, including a trash bin? Do you think any consumer would buy a car because it has a trash bin?
You might remember an episode of the Simpsons, where Homer, who is seen as your average joe, is asked to design a car. The future of the car company depends on it, and Homer creates a monstrosity that is a combination of all the features he wants. It has a revolving baby seat in the trunk, a horn that plays "La Cucaracha" and a Cadillac grill. It is hideous and ridiculous.
I guess my point is, people buy cars that dissatisfy them all the time. But they bought the car not because of its storage bins, but because it had something that spoke to them. If all women bought vehicles because they were interested in safety only, every woman in America would drive a Volvo. But they don't, because somewhere along the line to making their decision, the image got in the way little needs and wants. I'll update with the rest of the Detroit concepts later...