VW’s long overdue ‘Sedric’ concept is still just a concept
Thoughts on Apple Car, Part 61
At this year’s Geneva motor show – one of the top three in Europe – Volkswagen tried to surprise with a concept car. Problem is, such concepts should have been done a few years ago and should by now be pursued much more seriously (e.g. by giving it a brand name instead of a childish blendword that sounds like the result of a five minute brainstorming).
However, there is some valuable thinking that can be found with some digging. It’s on the inside (the outside I’ll leave as it is without further comment).
It makes sense to have the interior be just a spacious room.
- The materials are well chosen, first and foremost the use of wood textures. It helps give the whole thing a sense of comfort and cozyness. A good trend opposing the unnecessarily futuristic exterior.
- The yellow seating is questionable in colour as well as in shape. However it makes sense as it looks more like a sofa than car seats (the black top helps with that).
- The large windows do the rest to create an atmosphere of spaciousness. The dark roof however sinks that down again a bit.
The doors are executed with the right priorities.
- Although they still look to much like legacy car doors (why save space for wheels after all?), the height is great and no one will tip their heads when entering or exiting.
- The open door appears wide enough to make a great difference to today’s hassle of boxing myself into a car.
Volkswagen chose to present this concept not with a badge of one of their carline brands, but with the logo of the corporation. That and the uninspired name says a lot about the future of this vehicle.
But a bigger miss is the unanswered question of the business model.
Future mobility will be about platform ecosystems that we have seen in the consumer electronics industry. So far, no legacy carmaker has been able to answer this question with a plan that can be core to their business. All we have seen is „startup-like“ divisions, concepts and explorations in the sharing economy – again with divisions and subcompanies easy to close again.
Hardly anyone is trying to reinvent themselves, it all appears to be just makeup. In reality, carmakers are still lobbying for a long gone dream.
The opportunity for Apple is as big as it’s always been.