The excitement surrounding the Los Angeles Auto Show last month was all about the new product, of course, whether it was an electric vehicle or the first Jeep pickup in more than a quarter century.
If you want to compete for attention or dollars in today's marketplace, you'd better be introducing some new vehicles. That's what gets noticed at car shows and, more importantly, in showrooms.
We have all seen hundreds of exciting show cars over the last few decades, and even if only a relative few made it into production, they almost all caught the eye of the public and made it into lots of newspapers and magazines.
But creating interesting products is not getting any easier. In fact, there are few bigger challenges today than trying to design and engineer a unique pickup or, even tougher, an exciting and innovative SUV.
Today, we have a great deal of SUVs, and, sadly, there is starting to be a sameness about them. The difficult task facing auto designers around the world is to come up with something truly distinctive and yet with a high degree of functionality. The same applies to pickups.
As more and more Americans desire to own an SUV or pickup, the pressure to offer them something innovative, or even completely out of the box, will only increase.
As always, product is king, and right now, the public is clamoring for newer and fresher designs in what has become a very crowded field. Designers today must be ready to break the mold, and it certainly will not be easy.