Wagener avoided asking customers what they wanted in a redesign of the iconic Mercedes-Benz G-class SUV, which was shown this month at the Detroit auto show. Though Mercedes ended up sticking with the G's iconic boxy shape, the decision was made because the automaker's designers and executives knew what was right for the brand and the product, he said.
"American companies, they put on a lot of clinics, and I think that's wrong," Wagener said. "You will not end up with very innovative solutions. Because when people like it today, it's not innovative enough that they like it tomorrow."
With that, Wagener sums up the reasoning behind his design motto: "If you like it, we take a line off. If you still like it, take another line off. Then the proportion comes out at its best."