Ford, Buick and Audi Win at 2015 EyesOn Design Awards

Though the concept was claimed to reignite the Buick brand’s ambition in the global luxury market, we can’t help but feel that it feels a bit old school in execution and lacks the progressiveness of some of the other concepts on show, namely the F 015 Luxury in Motion autonomous vehicle concept from Mercedes.

Audi Q7 won this year’s Best Designed Interior accolade at the 2015 EyesOn Design
Perhaps most surprising was the decision to award the Audi Q7 with this year’s Best Designed Interior accolade, but given that one of the criteria in winning the award is that the vehicle make its debut at the NAIAS it seemed fitting considering the competition. Personally I felt the Mercedes S-Class Coupe and C-Class were more deserving, but these were unveiled at other shows last year… The Q7 came out ahead of the Buick Avenir concept and Infiniti Q60 thanks to its focus “on ergonomics, comfort and packaging”, according to the judges.

Renault’s former design director Patrick le Quement — the winner of this year’s EyesOn Design Lifetime Design Achievement Award, which will be presented to him at the EyesOn Design gala this summer — chose the venerable Bob Lutz to receive the annual Design Catalyst award. Both le Quement and Lutz worked together at Ford.

Patrick le Quement is the 2015 EyesOn Design Lifetime Design Achievement award winner

Lutz is a second-time Design Catalyst award winner, having been previously nominated for the accolade by former GM Design chief Chuck Jordan.

Always enthusiastic, Lutz took to the stage and told the audience how he wanted to be a designer as a child, but being the son of a Swiss banker he was told to “get a day job”. He later eloquently stated: “The only true differentiator is design” and told designers that senior management needs to be shocked. “Don’t design for your manager,” he added.

Lutz told the crowd that the Chrysler Imperial had been designed for Lee Iacocca. “They took a K car and extended the chassis, but then they had to redo it.” The resulting delays meant that dealers who had wanted the car were pressuring Chrysler to get it to them. “They were saying that seven customers [on the waiting list] had died already, which tells you a bit about demographic.”

He urged designers to stand their ground and “Design cars to look good. If it adds $75 to a vehicle, who cares? Customers won’t.”

In conclusion, Lutz said that helping empower designers made him feel “really proud, [it was a] high point in my career. I’m pleased I helped a lot of designers be successful.”


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