As an auto engineer, Wilfried Bockelmann's dream was an umbrella that could be stowed in the driver-side door panel.
When he headed engineering for Volkswagen AG subsidiary Skoda, he got close with the Skoda Superb sedan.
He put an umbrella slot in the Superb's rear door, which had a drain so the umbrella could be stowed even when wet.
The Superb's front doors could not be altered because they were carried over intact from the VW Passat to save money.
When he arrived at VW headquarters in Wolfsburg almost four years ago to head VW brand engineering, Bockelmann put the umbrella compartment exactly where he wanted it: in the driver-side door of the new VW Passat.
VW has even designed and engineered an umbrella for the slot that is large enough for two people, has an automatic opening and closing system and uses mold-resistant material.
And, like the Superb's, the Passat umbrella slot has a drain.