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VW, GM join BATC, GAC plus Chris Bangle and more at key China design event

Thu, 03 Feb 2011


新年快乐.  Xin Nian Kuai Le.  Happy New Year to our readers in China and to everyone celebrating the start of the Year of the Rabbit.

The speakers and program are being finalized for one of the principal forums for car design intelligence in China, the Interior Motives 2011 conference, to be held in Shanghai on the eve of this year's auto show.

The event will again include design chiefs from both China and overseas, representing domestic OEMs and the foreign companies seeking to retain their design edge by investing heavily in new studios and nurturing home-grown talent.

The conference is on Sunday 17 and Monday 18 April at the Millennium HongQiao Hotel in Shanghai. It will have simultaneous translation between English and Mandarin.

Among speakers from international OEMs are Simon Loasby, director of design for VW China; Holt Ware, design director of GM-PATAC; and Olivier Boulay, general manager of Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design based in Beijing. Ning Xiao, director of the styling center for Guangzhou Auto, and Wulin Gaowa, advanced design director of Beijing Automotive Technology Center (BATC) will be representing the Chinese marques.

Spanning east and west are Lou Tik, general manager of the JAC Italy Design Center, and Tony Williams-Kenny, newly-appointed design head of SAIC who is currently UK-based.

From overseas, and with an appropriate focus on the interior at an Interior Motives conference, come speakers including Amko Leenarts, head of interior design for Peugeot, and Klaus Busse, who has the same role at Chrysler and who will be accompanied by the company's Interiors Design Manager for the Jeep brand, Robert Walker.

The conference is particularly critical in giving pointers to, and getting feedback from, young Chinese designers. Intent on developing the next generation of talent are the leaders of education programs from both Chinese and international schools who will be present. They include Ed Wong, director of transportation design at China's Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA); Imre Molnar, dean of CCS in Detroit; Dave Muyers, formerly VP at Art Center in California; and Philip Nemeth and Matteo Conti, head of transport design at Strate College in France and Northumbria University in the UK, respectively.

And speaking of talent, Chris Bangle will be at the conference this year, hoping to avoid an Icelandic volcano which prevented the ex-BMW design chief travelling to last year's Interior Motives Conference in Beijing.

The sessions for the conference will address the continuing challenge of harnessing China's culture to automotive design and examine the development of specifically Chinese models for cities (including electric vehicles) for the increasingly influential crossover/SUV segment. Other session regarding the specific characteristics of luxury in this rapidly enriching economy and a particular session devoted to color and trim - and what says ‘Chinese' to the market - will also be on the program.

Interior Motives is the quarterly print magazine from Car Design News. It carries images and comment of the development progress of concept and production cars, from mood boards to the finished interior. It circulates among design directors and organized its first conference in China in 2007.

The 2011 conference is supported by sponsors 3M, Alcantara, Eagle Ottawa, Icona, Johnson Controls, RTT and SRG Global, all of which will be on display at the event.

To register to attend, and to see full details of the conference, please visit the website. There is a 50% discount to the full fee for all delegates based in China.

By CDN Team