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Sports Cars & Sofas


By:

9. April 2013

A few years ago I was standing at an exhibit at the North American Auto Show with a man who had had several engineering and managerial positions at OEMs, both traditional domestic and non.

We were looking at a concept for a high-end exotic sports car that a mass manufacturer was touting as a vision of a potential production vehicle. Here was a company best known for bread and butter showing off toast points and caviar.

And my associate observed, “When a car company creates a vehicle like that, you can know one thing: They’re in trouble. They don’t know precisely what it is that they should be working on, so the people in design and engineering get carried away in developing something that may be cool, but has absolutely no relevance on what they really ought to be focusing on.”

Given that it was a stunning piece of work, I thought that he was being a bit to crabby about the whole thing.

But I remembered what he said, and during the following couple of years, the car company in question did stumble on execution of its core products.

The sports car never saw the fluorescent dealership lights.

I thought about that car when I saw this:

citroen sofa

That is a sofa. It was created by the Citroën Styling Center and was exhibited at the International Furniture Fair in Milan.

The sofa is described as being “informed by the design cues, elegance and refinement of the DS line.”

To be sure, the DS line includes a number of attractive cars, like this, the DS9:

DS9

But like all European vehicle manufacturers, Citroën, which is part of PSA Peugeot Citroën is experiencing non-trivial sales declines in its home market (62% of its sales are in Europe).

And they’re designing sofas?

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