How do you go about developing an object of universal desire? Program Manager Kota Beppu reveals how hands-on experiences helped his team to capture the spirit of the All-New Mazda3.
At Mazda, we don’t engineer to a spec – we engineer to a feeling. The
moments that move are always the starting point for planning a new vehicle. I
want the finished product to express these feelings clearly, but there is an obvious
problem: How can I reproduce or even adequately communicate these feelings and
experiences to the development team? I was
convinced that only if the people involved in the initial planning phases
shared the same input would they come to the same conclusion as me. So I took designers and planners with me to go and
meet customers around the world.
We always develop our cars with the target customer in mind. But there
is only so much information you can get from just meeting people. It is
critically important that we also observe the environments they live in. lf we hadn’t
gone to meet our target customers in person, Idon’t think we would have
come up with such a clear-eyed concept for the Mazda3. There are a number of
European manufacturers that produce high-quality cars. It makes you wonder how
a single car can stand out and assert its presence. How can we make sure that
our customers don’t feel like they’re just part of the crowd?
To figure out an answer to this question, instead of just interviewing people,
we accompanied them to a variety of places. Home, work, hotels, …continue reading