Volkswagen looks to Apple for electric-car design guidance

“Volkswagen is looking at Apple products for guidance on how to style its new generation of electric cars, its top designer said, as the automaker aims to turn profits on battery-powered vehicles when they launch in 2020,” Andreas Cremer reports for Reuters. “For Europe’s biggest automaker, adopting simplicity as the guiding principle for future styling of electric vehicles (EVs) marks a departure from the era before its 2015 ‘dieselgate’ emissions scandal, when vehicle design conveyed the German group’s engineering prowess and technological ambitions.”

“With regulators slashing emissions on a fast timetable, dieselgate has also energized the costly shift to EVs that is necessary to compete in China, VW’s largest market, and to avoid future fines in Europe,” Cremer reports. “Previously a laggard on electrification, VW has pledged 34 billion euros ($42.45 billion) of investment in EVs, self-driving technology and digital mobility businesses across the group by 2022.”

Cremer reports, “The core namesake brand alone will spend 6 billion euros on a new modular platform dubbed MEB designed to underpin over 20 purely battery-powered models such as the I.D. hatchback, I.D. Crozz crossover and the I.D. Buzz microbus.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Since the company’s inception, everybody and their mother has cribbed industrial design notes from Apple.


    1. Since Apple’s inception, they have copied European and specifically German and Swiss design.

      Jobs look to Dieter Rams and they studied Braun design. They also admired and travelled to Japan to see Sony the company and lauded their design.

      Apple was recently caught copying a trademarked Swiss clockface used on the Clock icon in iOS.

      Let’s cut the crap MDN, Apple is not some sacred holy thing. They copied a lot of things along the way.

    1. Our strategy is that the other car companies copy Tesla. I think companies like Apple would probably make a compelling electric car, it seems like the obvious thing to do. It is an open secret. It’s pretty hard to hide something if you hire over 1000 engineers to do it. I hope we are surrounded by electric cars from other manufacturers. I really look forward to the day when every car on the road is electric. That’s the goal, we want to make that happen. That is the Holy Grail, and we’re trying to get there as fast as we can.

      excerpt from: elon musk: the unauthorized autobiography

  1. Apple being consulted on styling……..ok, I guess, but I need them to be more of a computer company than a styling company. No question: I certainly prefer the styling of my iMac over other people’s computers, but High Sierra bugs worry me a lot more.

    1. The MDN title is “Volkswagen looks to Apple for electric-car design guidance.” But the first sentence of the article fragment below states, ““Volkswagen is looking at Apple products for guidance…”.

      There is a huge difference between Apple engaging as a partner or consultant and someone attempting to decompose the engineering and aesthetics of Apple products in some vain hope of capturing the Apple magic.

      1. “looks to Apple for” does not mean “engaging as a partner or consultant” and totally fits with “looking at Apple products”.

        Your complaint is completely empty and illogical.

  2. I’d really think a company such as VW would go to a long-term auto designer and not to a company that doesn’t have any background in car design. That’s just my personal opinion based on how these things are usually done. Most car design houses have massive design portfolios built from over the years and almost nothing has to be done from scratch.

    The way the industry hates the iPhone design because it pretty much always looks the same would seem like a good reason not to choose Apple.

    1. It’s true that all iPhones look pretty much the same and indeed most smartphones do too, but before iPhone, none looked like that.

      It takes incredible designers to create something which is totally different to what’s already in use and then for an entire established industry to abandon what they previously did and essentially copy that new design.

      If VW go to an established car designer, they’ll get a car much like other cars. If they take inspiration from a different industry, they might get something which is truly original.

  3. When I think of Apple, I always think of “Modular Platforms”. Wait, no I don’t. Modular platforms = compromised design. VDubs off to a bad start copying Apple already/

    1. It’s not that simple. If the future is really about electric cars that have self-driving and other heavy AI tasks, then we are ripe for disruption. The skills and core competencies that go into making a great car today likely don’t transfer much to the future. Companies like Google and Apple are far better suited for the task. I suspect both Google and Apple know this. Neither is likely to make their own car, but both are likely to provided the core of what’s needed to make a future car and license that tech to existing auto companies.

  4. Never understood VW’s success in recent years, boring cars, uninspiring design, more than questionable morality, average performance for the most part and even reliability not what it once was. Talk about sit on your long in the tooth laurels. I can see why China is their biggest market, at least till their expectations heighten.

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