[YesAuto Technology] In the past two years, Chinese brand car companies have increasingly emphasized the importance of car design, and have also focused more on creating family-oriented design concepts in their product systems. With the continuous openness and pious attitude, more and more well-known overseas designers have joined the lineup of Chinese brand car companies. They are trying to insert a new one in a new environment with more challenging and higher degrees of freedom. Totem. It is no exaggeration to say that the rapid changes in the Chinese auto market have allowed many local car companies to break free from the shackles of imitation and reference in their designs. As a pioneer in the establishment of a design center overseas, JAC has broken through the vehicle styling design from a long time ago, and has gone through a period of confusion and helplessness. After 14 years of exploration and precipitation, JAC now has A set of design language of its own was created, and behind the continuous evolution of this language, it is the epitome of Jianghuai’s design in the past.
Going out of the country and settled in overseas use design breaks the game
In 2003, the year when China's auto home sedan market was gradually in a booming year, JAC decided to broaden its business direction and enter the passenger car market while ensuring the stable development of its commercial vehicle business. Different from many Chinese brand car companies, JAC paid great attention to the styling design of the vehicle in the early stage. After establishing the Hefei design department in 2005, it stepped into the hot land of Italy and established the Italian Design Center.
In our inherent impression, the country of Italy was influenced by the Renaissance and gave birth to a large number of painters, sculptors and other artists. In fact, there is no shortage of outstanding car designers in this land. Taking Turin as the starting point for car design has driven the whole of Italy into a world-class car design dream factory.
In 1899, from the moment when the Turin Automobile Factory (the predecessor of Fiat) was established, it was destined to leave a strong mark in the history of the development of the world automobile industry. At the same time, the appearance of Fiat cars also made cars become An indispensable part of Italian life. Undoubtedly, Italy's mature automotive industry experience and cutting-edge design resources have become Jianghuai's most valued hard power, which strengthens the belief in starting the road of design here.
Going abroad, setting up an overseas design center in Italy is only the first step. Following the establishment of the Torino Design Center in 2006, based on the need to further enhance the brand value of JAC Motors and integrate global resource advantages, JAC established a second overseas design center in Tokyo, Japan. At the beginning of the establishment of the design center, it was mainly responsible for the styling development and design of commercial vehicles such as domestic light trucks and medium-duty trucks, and then the passenger car business that was vigorously developed.
Restricted by the geographical environment of the country, Japanese car “craftsmen” have almost harsh requirements for car space layout and design. As a representative of Japanese car culture, we can see the clues in K-car models. On the other hand, the establishment of a design center in Japan also allowed JAC to have both Eastern and Western design resources, which paved the way for future design.
At the end of 14 years, three major design centers help build a family language
The three major centers of Hefei, Turin and Tokyo have become the hardware conditions for JAC's vehicle styling, and they are also the strong backing that JAC has built up through so many years of hard work. Time flies. 14 years later, JAC has now established a Modeling Research Institute, which is affiliated to JAC Automotive Design Center. The Research Institute is composed of Forward-looking Design and Management Department, Hefei Design Center, Torino Design Center in Italy, and Tokyo Design Center in Japan.
Thanks to the continuous improvement of engineering technology, the three technical centers have a higher degree of freedom to achieve the desired ideas. In addition, using only one or two star models to create a brand image is no longer suitable for today’s Chinese brand car companies, especially on the road of long-term design. Therefore, with the support of sufficient time, JAC will unify Design concepts are injected into each model to strengthen the family-style design language.
In 2007, JAC really extended its tentacles to the passenger car market. When domestic cars were still popular for family cars, the first passenger car of JAC was a Ruiying model positioned in the SUV segment. It has to be said that, based on the background of the cooperative relationship with Hyundai, although the Ruiying model is independently developed, it still draws on the body parameters of Hyundai Santa Fe. In terms of styling design, at this time JAC has not yet begun to really exert its strength.
Leverage a well-known design company to endorse the first family car
After the water test phase, Jianghuai Automobile also began to realize that the domestic demand for hardcore SUVs is far less than that of the family car market, so after the launch of the Ruiying model, it began to integrate resources to develop family cars. At the same time, the first-generation design of JAC has gradually surfaced. In 2008, when Jianghuai Automobile officially released the Tongyue model, it also made a joint design with Pininfarina to endorse its first sedan.
Before 2010, the Turin Design Center did not have the ability to fully undertake JAC modeling design. It seemed that it would be a good solution to leverage overseas well-known design companies. Although it is not amazing, JAC Tongyue still maintains a high degree of originality in its styling design. Unfortunately, its design was passively satisfied at the time and still lacks family DNA.
In 2009, JAC Motors further enriched its product sequence. JAC Heyue entered the domestic compact car market. The design of this car was provided by the Italian Design Center. In order to make the product more recognizable, it and Tongyue have designed many details. The aspects are very similar.
Pay more attention to product definition, the initial design begins to take shape
In 2012, Jianghuai launched a dual-brand operation strategy of “Ruifeng + Heyue”. The former is mainly oriented to the public business and urban personalized markets, and the latter is mainly oriented to the mass market and household consumption market. As a result, the JAC headquarters has a deeper understanding of product definitions, and at the same time can convey more specific goals to the design center at the early stage of product design.
In 2013, the pattern of China's auto market changed. SUV sales crazily invaded the medium-sized and small-sized car market. In an instant, many Chinese brand car companies also put the development of SUV models on the agenda. Based on this background, JAC also launched the urban SUV Ruifeng S5 in the same year. Due to the identity of the SUV, this car is very different from the sedan in terms of styling. It is also the first time JAC has dabbled in the design of an SUV model.
In November 2013, the JAC Heyue A30 was officially launched as a new generation of small cars in the product sequence. Not only did the car's styling design have undergone substantial changes compared with the previous design concept, after 8 years of exploration, JAC is working on the project There has also been a certain degree of progress in technology. After serving the design, Heyue A30 embodies an unprecedented texture. It can be said that after the design of the three key models, the first-generation design language of JAC has begun to take shape. At this time, they urgently need family-oriented styling to evolve the uncompleted language.
From 2014 to 2015, JAC re-launched two heavy models of Refine 3 and Refine S2 in its SUV product series, and expanded the sales of this series of models by continuously lowering the entry threshold of the SUV market. In terms of styling design, although JAC has not had a particularly clear idea of highlighting the design characteristics of the family, it has been found that the large-mouth design can not only highlight the tension and dominance of the front face of the SUV, if the chrome trim is used for different degrees The modification can also improve the sense of grade.
Juli's SUV design experience defines the family DNA
What I have to mention here is that in April 2014, JAC officially released a concept car named SC-9. Compared with the concept car design that uses renewal, pioneering and academic as the main purpose, the SC-9 concept car is What appears to be a brand new design language that tries to show the future direction of the family. In terms of styling design, this car adopts a more radical and avant-garde design concept. Even now, the design style of this car will still not be outdated. Most importantly, the family-style front of the mouth of the treasure bottle is beginning to show its strength.
The flagship product fully interprets the second-generation design language
Afterwards, in the mass-produced models, JAC carefully crafted the elements of the bottle mouth and applied this design concept to its flagship models, including the JAC Refine A60 sedan and the flagship SUV Refine S7. Since then, the design concept of the JAC 2.0 era has been completed. We can clearly see the strong family DNA in the vehicle design, and the highly recognizable air intake grille is the blood characteristic.
As Jianghuai’s leadership pays more and more attention to car styling, the tasks on the shoulders of the three design centers are getting heavier. If they want to increase user loyalty through a new design language, they must break the tacit understanding. Outdated design ideas define JAC's design language by establishing a unified brand image. Based on the above requirements, JAC's vehicle styling design has been pushed to a new stage.
Today's JAC has a very good understanding of the meaning of product definitions, so when the Turin Design Center got the design task of the new model Ruifeng S4, it felt that the next product was like a plane taking off, which was a new beginning. The whole team is under pressure.
I feel pressured and confident to shoulder the fetters of subverting the past design
Daniele is the general manager of JAC Design Center in Turin, Italy, and is also the core figure here. He believes that in order to give a cold car a human touch, it must be infused with soul.
He used to work for Alfa Romeo until now. He has a special liking for this brand. Before this brand builds any car, all departments of the company know what the mission of the company is. This is a big car design. premise.
Respect proportions, pay attention to details, Ruifeng S4 subverts traditional design
In Daniele's design philosophy, the proportion of the body with great visual impact occupies a heavy proportion. Nowadays, users know more about automotive products than before, and at the same time, the requirements for proportion are getting higher and higher, so proportion is the biggest weapon in design. Take Ruifeng S4 as an example, in order to create a strong tail, the designer added a strong shoulder line on both sides of the tail.
Obviously, Daniele has very high requirements for the proportion of the body. In addition to this, he also attaches great importance to the details of the styling design. We are well aware that as car styling designs come to the forefront with a story-telling display, many designers are also willing to use inspiration sources to make packaging for their designs, especially for many Chinese brand car companies. Therefore, in Refine S4, Daniel intends to add Chinese design elements to the details of the car lights, but such elements are not sufficient.
When the proportion of a car is completed, the beauty of 60% of the product will be revealed. On the side of the body, a smooth skyline, inclined C-pillars and scattered double waistlines can form a dynamic silhouette. As the chief exterior designer of the Torino Design Center, Wladimir attaches great importance to the styling research phase of the new model. In the project of the Ruifeng S4 car, he wants to stimulate the designer's imagination and creativity through the process of creative sketching. .
Giancarlo is the head of the interior styling of the Turin Design Center. When creating the interior styling of the Refine S4, he tried to use a simple and easy-to-understand design language to create a solid brand image, but simplicity does not mean simple, horizontal features. Lines can not only create a sense of tranquility in the car, but also reduce visual pressure and better layout the various functional areas.
Marco Saino joined JAC in 2011 and has now become the head of the CAS department of the Turin Design Center. As a computer-aided stylist, he knows that CAS is an indispensable bridge between automobile styling, model and engineering. How to bring the boring digital model closer to the styling intention and meet the technical requirements is their focus.
In modeling design, technology and engineering are always inseparable subjects. It is not important whether the former serves the latter or the latter serves the former, because their relationship is just like a cold, and only by working together can the common goal be achieved. The engineering team of the Turin Design Center led by Paolone must provide engineering technical support for the styling of each car. While ensuring the styling intention to the greatest extent, it must also take into account product performance and manufacturing costs.
All in all, Refine S4 brings JAC's design language into a new era. It is like a double-edged sword, because for market consumers who are already familiar with product design features, the more recognizable bottle mouth has just been obtained. A certain degree of cognition has been subverted and evolved. On the other hand, the new design has injected new blood and strength into Jianghuai, and it has a long way to go.
Summary: I have to admit that when China's car design was just starting, due to the extreme lack of experience, talent and other resources, many car companies adopted the method of borrowing mature overseas models to design. Practice is the only criterion for testing truth. Obviously, this road will not work, and in the end it will only be a vicious circle. In recent years, few Chinese automakers with independent brands have taken the lead in trying to find styling designs belonging to their own brands, and JAC is one of them. It is no exaggeration to say that the rapid development of China's auto market for more than a decade is equivalent to the development of Europe in 20 or 30 years. Therefore, when we have the ability to create the future direction, it is very likely that in a few years, the design of Chinese cars will move to the forefront of the world and lead the trend. (Photo/Cao Lei, home of the car)