Automotive News: GM and Chrysler Have Style!
Automotive News [AN, sub] has not one but two article's about Detroit's [supposed] design excellence– actual or eventual. First, former Car and Driver editor William Jeanes wants us to know that GM's sun [s]will come out tomorrow[/s] is out, design-wise. "Like that hint of springtime, it is suddenly apparent that a design renaissance has taken hold at GM… No one, not even Lutz, can change perception overnight. But you have to start somewhere, and he and the GM designers have rolled a grenade into the room…" Next, Steven Cole Smith is pleased to report that the non-car guys heading Ford and Chrysler are staying the Hell away from the design studios– lest they screw-up the aforementioned design renaissance. "'Let's face it,' said a Ford executive who asked not to be identified. 'Alan [Mulally] has bigger problems to deal with than how the headlights should look on an F-150. Plus, he's proven that he delegates responsibility to those who deserve it, and the design staff deserves it.'" In case you prefer a non-fiction quote, Chrysler 300 designer Ralph Gilles says Nardelli's been a good boy. "Bob… seems to be one of those guys who knows what he doesn't know… He's keen on what we do. His cautiousness is very encouraging."
Well, until Mr. Karesh puts his entire thesis online, here's the executive summary.
Here's a challenge to GM and Chrysler (and Ford): create a great design... two generations in a row!
I would be willing to bet that Mr. Gilles had little to do with such atrocities as the Sebring and Compass. Or if he did, he was overruled by management and marketing students saying that Chryslers need to have hood strakes. The 300 still holds up beautifully and the new minivans, while "different", really are striking in person. It pushes "love it or hate it" to (whatever maximum there could be with a minivan) with the exception of the everyone-hates-it TWAT GM minivans. It would be fascinating to get a truthful interview with him on this subject; not that we should expect that while he's employed there.