Automakers race for the desire for luxury and technology – TechCrunch



In late summerAutomobile collectors have gathered in Monterey, Detroit and, more recently, Oxford, England, to focus on monitoring luxury and historic cars as an annual tradition.

The COVID-19 pandemic dominated an outdoor luxury car event in 2021 after a universal hiatus in the previous year. Events like the Goodwood Festival of Speed ​​in July, Monterey Car Week and the Woodward Dream Cruise Show in August, or Salon Prive, which ends on Sunday, featured more than a deep coupe and eye-catching hypercar.

The crowd that gathered despite the Delta variant and their reaction to the cars lined up on the luxury grounds at each event reflected the boundless heat of the ultra-luxury cars of the past and the future.

Angus Dykman, auction specialist at Gooding & Company, said, “We were very interested in live sales. Business is booming. People were looking for random cars. “

Porsche 917 car at the Pebble Beach Concours Delegance 2021 in Pebble Beach, California, USA, Sunday, August 15, 2021. Credit: Getty Images, Photographer: David Paul Morris / Bloomberg

In this real-world environment, both newcomers and established brands had the urgency to show their customers that the latest vehicles represent the future. The August stop in Monterey remains important for luxury automakers to showcase their next generation model designs. Newcomers Rimac and Lucido Group have invested in Monterey’s presence with legacy automakers like Bentley, Bugatti and Mercedes-Benz.

The line between classic and contemporary cars is a stunning design aimed at attracting new customers.

Collectors ordered a new production car before production started due to a lack of microchips and fleet restrictions. They mingled with the brand’s top executives. At least 12 senior executives were found in Pebble Beach, including Jim Farley, CEO of Ford Motor Company. US President Mercedes-Benz Dimitris Psirakis; Aston Martin CEO Tobias Moores; Lamborghini CTO Maurizio Reggiani.

Participants will see the Bugatti Automobiles SAS bolide at The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering taking place in Carmel, CA, USA on Friday, August 13, 2021. Photo credit: David Paul Morris / Bloomberg via Getty Images

“This is the perfect place for our luxury car business,” said Moers of the large Aston stand that was built with a view of the classic car show. “There are new customers here that we have never seen before. The brand has achieved an unprecedented position in Formula 1. “

On display is the rugged Aston of the future with the Aston Martin Formula 1 car in the heart of Valkyrie and Valhalla, showing how Aston is advancing.

“It’s a statement,” said Moers. “Last year everyone thought the company was complete, so Lawrence Stroll stepped in and put a lot of money into the company. We’re back, stronger than ever, and we’re committed to our customers. He hired new directors from Bentley, Ford and Porsche while much of the UK was closed.

As the new CEO during the pandemic, Moers was also the first to meet North American employees, dealers and customers.

Moers comes from Mercedes-AMG and acts as a confident manager who believes that the electrification experience will give him an advantage. “Aston is a super luxury company. They have always been famous for their beautiful cars. With the new technology available, there is no longer any compromise, ”he said.

While impressing the problems facing the people of Pebble Beach, he also focuses on Aston’s business in China and how Mercedes Engineering can be used in its expanded Aston portfolio.

“In China we have different customers than our younger North American customer group. They are 18-30 years old and over 60, and in the meantime it doesn’t currently exist. China’s pace is incredible. China and Asia will be number one when it comes to growing the world’s wealth. “

For Aston, the future means electrification, rethinking the in-car user experience and destroying past plans stemming from Mercedes-Benz technology from the previous generation of the car.

“We decided not to use infotainment that is a Mercedes HMI. If you want to build an HMI for the future, you have to be a little more attractive. ”Integrate Mercedes MBUX infotainment. Instead, he is building a new infotainment system at ART, an Italian supplier that has worked for Lamborghini and Apple. “We create our own environment. Our own ecosystem. “

Aston Martin will leverage Mercedes’ V8 engine technology to more efficiently meet industry demands as it moves to electrification.

Power, passion, technology

Pebble Beach competition

Audi Skyfer concept. credit: Tamara Warren

A new way to power cars to meet compliance standards while maintaining customers’ passion for cars and attracting new cars with the latest in-car experiences from Pebble Beach automaker executives. The topic of conversion came up.

Small, bespoke ultra-luxury manufacturers rely on the investments of large automakers and parent companies to deliver engines and electronic platforms that rely on a competitive talent pool to develop. Second, these small luxury brands need to work harder to differentiate themselves from the big companies.

“One of the most important and expensive developments of the past year and the future is the so-called electronic platform,” says Lamborghini CTO Reggiani. “Nobody can touch or see the electronic platform. It is the real nervous system of the car. This is what we’re trying to use from the group. These are the least noticeable carryovers. , You can use the system or the component. “

Lamborghini is owned by the Volkswagen Group and some of its big competitors such as Bugatti, Bentley, Audi and Porsche are part of the same company.

“We take on what the group can offer, but we want to be different,” he said. Lamborghini was the first car brand to partner with Amazon Alexa, and customers accepted the Alexa integration, opening the door to forward thinking, he said. “Sound is one way of creating a filter for speech recognition. Problems will arise in the future, the lamp will come on, ask Alexa and tell me what to do. Stop the car. You need to call a service assistant. They create artificial intelligence, ”says Reggiani. He said they are working on collecting data to develop new ways of using sound design and voice.

But for demanding Lamborghini customers, expensive technology must be presented with a convincing design that does not look outdated. “Design is the first reason to buy a Lamborghini,” says Reggiani. “Design is pure design, unlike in the past. More and more designs are an integration of the art of engineering into the aesthetics. Every component of a car needs functionality. Aerodynamics and cooling meet. PHEV is here. Cooling is becoming more and more complex. Battery management can be thought of as very complex. The design has to meet the requirements in a cool way. “

Modern technology and design

The classic cars at Monterey Car Week reminded us that aerodynamics and weight distribution have always dominated the design principles of the car, especially in cars used in motorsport. But modern technology and design mean speed, electrification, ADAS and connectivity in one sophisticated, timeless system. “One of the most important points is to guarantee emotions, which is a requirement,” says Reggiani.

Shaping the future means saying where it will lead. In a rapidly changing world, luxury automakers are cutting jobs to keep up with the pace. It’s a big job. Tesla, an absentee automaker, is a company that coincides with AI announcement week and is still looking for electrification.

With perfect care and limited numbers in Monterey, driving a classic car worth millions of dollars can be a fascinating sport. I tested the 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL, an elegant roadster with a manual transmission along the Pacific Road. This gave me a little glimpse into this sacred world where admission was exorbitant, especially during a pandemic.

Equally fascinating were Goodwood, Woodward and Salon Prive, which ended this weekend. With a wonderful outdoor event in the rearview mirror, the automotive industry is currently turning its attention to shows that focus exclusively on the future of traffic.

The IAA Mobility Show, which began in Munich this week, offers a more immersive and hands-on experience as automakers rethink the tired auto shows of the past. The variety of electrical models and concepts on display reminds us that one of the things money cannot predict is the speed of progress.

Car manufacturers race for the desire for luxury and technology – TechCrunch Source link Car manufacturers battle for the desire for luxury and technology – TechCrunch



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