Thursday, April 28, 2005
When I put up a picture on my blog, I find it by typing in the name of what I want into Yahoo or Google, and have the search engine do an image search. I typed in the word "heritage" into yahoo, and in the first twenty pictures, a Harley-Davidson motorcycle came up twice. So did old American houses. But no American cars.
I think all American cars should be retro. Every time a brand is destroyed by the American auto industry, that's an enormous amount of design heritage lost. It's an enormous amount of successful ideas to draw from lost. That's why I don't think brands should be destroyed. Maybe models should be combined or condensed, but never destroy the brand.
Buick sales are doing terribly. The new LaCrosse, barely out 6 months, its output is being slowed already. Not good. I've seen on GM message boards the word Renaissance being bandied about. Immediately I put the image in my head of something grandiose, basically because renaissance is a big word, not because the idea of a "re-birth" means grandiose. Buick, Cadillac, Oldsmobile, all these brands would use absurd European-esque names like Toronado, LeSabre, etc. to illustrate further what began in the design of the car.
This blog entry is sort of rambling, and I'll continue with news analysis in a couple of days, but my point is with the incredible wealth of designs and names to draw upon in the American automotive pantheon, it just seems silly to waste billions of dollars largely guessing as to what will work, when you already know what will work! Just look at past models that sold well, and sell them again! If you look at Audis of the last 25 years, or Volvos, you see basically the exact same design. Mercedes as well. If the Europeans can get away with it, we should to.