OC Auto Registrations, An Indication of Pending

Orange County in California has always been a very affluent place to live, home to many movie stars, corporate bigwigs and some generally well heeled individuals. What this amounts to is a very robust economy that can usually stave off any downturn that befalls many other regions of the United States but when you hear that the new car registration for January has fallen 28.5%, the biggest decline in two decades then you know times are hitting hard.

January is renown within the auto industry for being slow for car sales, with dealers trying to shed their last remaining inventory from the previous year and with generally good discounts available for those who want to venture but even these tactics with added incentives hasn’t bolstered the sales. The sale of vehicles in Orange County has already suffered a dramatic drop in 2007 by 9.2% and coming into the new year it was forecast that this year would fair no better with an additional 3.1% decline, that was before the January report. Continue reading OC Auto Registrations, An Indication of Pending


The Ultimate in being Green

January has started at a brisk pace for those who consider themselves green in Orange County, that is, the possible privilege to park in 3000 city-owned parking spaces free of charge just because they have purchased a hybrid powered vehicle. This was one of the proposal on the table to be considered by the Huntington Beach City Council on the night of January 22nd 2008 but unfortunately this proposal fell on deaf ears and resulted in a narrow defeat.

This is not a unique situation proposed by the beach community, as other cities throughout the United States have already adopted this stance with the city of Los Angeles being one of them. We all know that hybrid vehicles have been snapped up in their hundreds of thousands over the past couple of years with the Toyota Prius enjoying much of the action and like many other alternative fuel vehicles they already enjoy riding the carpool lane, free parking would just have been icing on the cake for these Huntington Beach locals. We can all relate to the current drive to conserve the nations precious resources and reduce the reliance on foreign oil but a quick decision to reward the few in prime parking would have been wasteful in terms of reduced revenue to the city, fortunately it did not pass.

The first thing that I have to asked myself is, why open such a can of worms, everyone in their own right does their bit to conserve energy, turning down the thermostat at home or be it just recycling bottles and cans and even the daily newspaper. Singling out a small percentage of the population who have chosen to purchase a hybrid vehicle because it’s a high profile statement does not warrant an extra pat on the back in my opinion and I’m fully behind this decision to reject the proposal. Continue reading The Ultimate in being Green

Mercedes Takes Design Seriously

The murmurs of the past few weeks has finally been put to rest and made official, the Mercedes Design Team will move into the former Chrysler Advanced Design Studio in Carlsbad. This move will triple the square footage allowing the group to pursue design excellence in fullsize, a luxury that was none existent in the previous facility and in a time frame as early as July 1st. Continue reading Mercedes Takes Design Seriously

2010 Camaro Sparkles in the Californian Sun

Today simultaneously, Detroit and Los Angeles presented the pre-production/production version of the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro to the press with actual production slated to start on February 16th 2009 at the Oshawa plant, Canada. The bright red camaro debuting in Detroit and fittingly, the bright yellow Camaro minus the black stripe, “bumblebee” from the Transformer Movie here in Los Angeles. Continue reading 2010 Camaro Sparkles in the Californian Sun

February Sees Further Decline in Vehicle Sales

February is a good month normally for the cupid types but for the auto industry this year, little love has been dished out. Of all the auto companies, only American Honda Motor Co, Daimler AG and Nissan North America have penciled in a gain in sales for this month, yet for the year only Honda and Daimler remain solvent so far.

This February has seen a dramatic drop in sales of SUVs as the bite of high gasoline prices rip into the family budget but Porsche beg to differ with their truck sales exploding to a 109.7% over the same period last year. This anomaly is at the expense of their car division which dropped 40.3% over last year leaving the sports-car company down 12.8% for the month of February.

With every auto manufacturer feeling the economic pinch, total sales in North America for the year are down by a 120,000 units or 5.3% so far, so what does this all mean for us the clay modeler. Continue reading February Sees Further Decline in Vehicle Sales

Chrysler Pacifica Advanced Design RIP

The rumor had reached me via friends that all staff at the Chrysler Pacifica Advanced Design in Carlsbad had been given severance packages on Friday March 7th 2008, victims of the down sizing of company assets and the drop in sales. Today March 8th it is confirmed via Automotive News that all Advanced Design will be conducted at their Auburn Hills Headquarters. This studio in effect had influenced their product design with successful vehicles such as the Dodge Challenger, Chrysler 300 and Chrysler Pacifica over recent years but as many people know, all sculptors and designers in California spend most of their time at the beach! Continue reading Chrysler Pacifica Advanced Design RIP

Leaders and Followers

The current credit crunch and ultimately gas prices are decimating a large segment of vehicles that are currently being offered by American companies to the public who right now are skittish at best when it comes to parting with their hard earned cash. The cash cows of yesteryear known as SUVs are on an even more rapid decline, with the more savvy public opting for a Toyota Prius, Honda Civic, Nissan Versa or other fuel sipping form of transport to combat the ever increasing cost of gas, in an economy that is teetering on recession.

For us in the Research and Development field all we can do is continue to model the visions that are offered hoping to hit a chord with the higher management who do have a pulse on today’s trends or do they? Continue reading Leaders and Followers

Digital Modeling and Milling

Today, much of the clay modeling development is being executed first by the alias modeler over a package with the direction coming from an aesthetic designer, eliminating the hands on approach in many instancies. In this type of environment it is easy to forget the basic structure that actually spawned this method of working, leaving huge gaps in the proving out of a clay model. It is automatically assumed that once the alias design has been approved by the lead designer the model will be milled out, with changes that are not so apparent being corrected at a later date. This method of working often leads to an end product that looks static and void of any emotion because that extra time needed to massage the surfaces in 3D has been eaten up be endless revisions in a 2D environment. Continue reading Digital Modeling and Milling

Mallory McMorrow Designs Mazda3 2018

Mallory McMorrow from South Bend, IN, bettered the stiff competition to land the prestigious award of grand winner and the chance to bring her design to fruition at the Greater Los Angeles Motor Show. Mallory an industrial design student from the University of Notre Dame based her vision on creating a car that belonged to no current category, neither sedan nor hatchback, but something different. She wanted a functional car without being box shaped, a car that screamed excitement and speed and yet could be used to cart her belongings to and thro’ and at the same time turn heads.

With the aid of Jacques Flynn, a full time Mazda designer she was able to express her needs to capture the essence and vision of a vehicle that could well be the next Mazda3. Design lines that screamed Mazda DNA and yet still fresh enough to capture ones imagination.

Mazda Design Challenge winner.
Continue reading Mallory McMorrow Designs Mazda3 2018