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Detroit Auto Show 2017
Talking design with Nissan's Mamoru AokiNissan's executive design director joins us in Detroit to talk about the Vmotion 2.0 concept and a whole lot more.
[MUSIC] Hello everybody and welcome back to the Road Show stage. Road Show by CNET, our live coverage here at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show. The North American International Auto Show, to give it its full weight and do. Welcome back, if you joined us just about 20, 30 minutes ago, for the Shift Awards. From Roadshow, where we had four categories and our Disruptor of the Year. We'll be recapping that a little bit later on in the morning. I'm Brian Cooley, editor at large at Roadshow. And for the next five hours, we're going to now bring you a series of really insightful live interviews. With important automotive industry executives and industry expects to put all this show into context here. And do it in a way that's very relatable, that makes sense to all of us who are people in the automotive marketplace, as well as those who are merely buffs of the automotive trends and automotive technology. And to kick things off this morning, I'm very pleased to be starting with Nissan. Joining me now, is Mamoru Aoki who's executive design director with Nissan Motor Company. Mamoru, thank you for being here today. You're welcome. The Nissan Rogue Sport->> Yes. Was the big news here at the show. Describe to me where it fits from a design point of view in your line. And relate it to the main Rogue that we already know. Okay, starting from Rogue. Rogue is a big hit for Nissan. Yeah. So for December The Rogue had a [UNKNOWN] put in the USA. That means that the top cities [UNKNOWN] so the [UNKNOWN] in the passenger vehicle. Okay, so after three big trucks it's [UNKNOWN]. Yeah, it's [UNKNOWN]. Very good. Yeah. Better than a Camry and better than Accord. It's a big news for A major seller. Yeah. And so that-- So you've come along with another model now the log sports that is a derivation of the main log, how do you want consumers to see this slightly smaller and little different of looking and feeling log? [UNKNOWN] Is a very loomy vehicle. It has a three door and a two door and then for the family, basically. But the Rogue Sport will be slightly shorter and a very compact [UNKNOWN] crossover. That's Fit for more empty-nesters and the younger generations. Because it's compact, also affordable, cars. So very fit to those peoples. How long was this in development? When did you first get the indication From corporate, I imagine from product planning. When they first came to your department and said we need something to fit this category. How long did it take to bring this car to market? Yeah, those two cars were actually developed at the same time. Because law is for mainly US and China and At this time we call it [UNKNOWN] is for Europe, yes. The [UNKNOWN] sport is for Europe. So the [UNKNOWN] at the same time, and now we decided to bring [UNKNOWN] to US. Okay, that's right. So this was a matter of bringing to the US a car that already had a base in many other regions. So when you do that from a design point of view what did you have to adjust and modify to make it right for this Market. Cuz this is such an important market obviously. You want to get it right. How did you reinterpret it for the US? The basic design is same as European [UNKNOWN] But we modified the tail lamp and the headlamp and the grill [UNKNOWN] And for interior we add lighter color interiors. In Europe [UNKNOWN] light interior. Just Has to have a black interior. So to fit? Yeah, just black. So to fit to the US market we add very light color interior. So, I'm fascinated by this. What is it about the US that requires or demands some lighter interiors and a different face, it sounds like, as you redid some of the light Why is that change from market to market? Yeah. What do you know about what a different thinks. This is basically according to the customers demand. [UNKNOWN] Rather cold basically the temperature. U.S has warm Praise. Yeah. So, people like lighter car interiors, basically. They want a lighter interior. Yeah. To reflect a warmer climate. Yeah, 50/50, yes. Yeah, of course. And then, what about tail lights and headlights? I'm always intrigued by that. When you redo the face of a car or the tail of a car for a different market What is it that Americans want in a headlight array, in a grill that is different from other markets? How do you establish that? For the grill, the main difference is we add the radar, radio. Okay. [CROSSTALK] Grill. Forward looking. Yeah, for the, yes, yes. That is the main Maintained. And how about the tail lights? [UNKNOWN] to fit to the US market. The European has a LED type of [UNKNOWN]. But we modified that [UNKNOWN] using more, you know [BLANK_AUDIO] Do you know the Boomerang chip signature? Yeah. So we emphasized, to emphasize the Boomerang signature. The Boomerang chip. We make a new, yeah, [UNKNOWN] Okay. For US. So this brings me to the question of. Where is Nissan right now in terms of your look and design? If I'm gonna be a consumer. I look out over your entire array of Concepts to your oldest model in the line, where should I look to see where Nissan's going? [BLANK_AUDIO] Year 2013 we published the Resonance which become Renault. And 2014 we published [UNKNOWN] Concept The which becomes maxima and then now we published VMotion 2.0 which showing future generation. So we called Maxima and Milano other first generation of VMotion All right. And formed [UNKNOWN] Device we call the Emotional Geometry. That is a [INAUDIBLE]. And then now we publish the new [UNKNOWN] 2.0. 2.0 means showing the future generation. Each [UNKNOWN] change. So we Continually using the motion and very dynamic body side character, right? Yes. But we emphasize our route. For example the motion. Morano and Maxima using slightly smaller the b motion glue. All right If to see the v motion 2.0. The big chrome is very pronounced. More pronounced? > Very big. Yes. And the motion is come down to the bottom. And the rest of spread is inside the grill. It's big and it's very proud of the Nissan Aspect. [BLANK_AUDIO] It's evolutionary but it's a pretty big evolutionary step. Big, big evolution. It's very pronounced. Yeah, and visually two dimensional like that but also three dimensionally. We emphasize the treatment of the three dimensional movement. Okay, the depth. Depth. And [UNKNOWN] Signature is continuing to the body side. It's a big move. A lot of what you do as designers in your department is well understood in the industry. The language you're talking to us right now about design and what it speaks and all this, how well do you think consumers appreciate what you do? In all of it's nuance. Do you ever feel frustrated that they don't see all the details or does that matter? Mm. Do they just perceive the car as a whole or would you like them to be really understand all the little things that you did around the car individually? Yeah, to have a consistent appearance is But what we want is to duke distinctive, to be a distinctive. THat is the final target. To be consistent. And to be very distinctive. So both [UNKNOWN] is our target. So to do that, yes. And especially with all the challenges you have to meet today. We were talking, you have to meet regulatory standards, pedestrian impact Aerodynamics, lighting and bumper placement. And all this in different regions. Yeah, yeah. You can't just do whatever you want as a designer. No. You've got a lot of bounds, don't you. Yeah, a lot of limitations. But each time, for designer It's a [UNKNOWN], of course. That's part of the fun, isn't it? That's part of the challenge. Yeah, it is, it's like a puzzle. Yeah, like a puzzle. Yeah, how do you make a puzzle? Yeah. Yeah, of course, we need to have a strong intention. What do we want? But to get there- But as you said, there are many, many restrictions. But how to avoid those The presentation is a story, very interesting story. Lastly, I wanted to ask you, we get a lot of e-mails from our viewers, younger people who would like to be automotive designers like you. In this modern era, here we are in 2017, well into the 21st century. What are the one, or two, or three skills that you think a person needs to have to be a successful Automotive designer. It's not just about sketching beautiful shapes, right? No, no, no, no, yeah. Designer need to know many, many things. Of course you know, as you said, what's happening in the market. And what's happening In that technology site. And recently, EV and autonomous and connectivity is a big issue for the car industries. Right. So to have [UNKNOWN] car information like connectivity IDs. To know those issues, very important for the young designers. In other words they can't design. You have to know the content within the car before you can create the shape. Yes. It's very interesting. [CROSSTALK] A lot of people think it's mostly an artistic pursuit, but it's very much an engineering pursuit. Yeah, I think artistic is all [UNKNOWN]. But yes, as you said, the technical and those information are [UNKNOWN] study. So it's [UNKNOWN] that. I think that's the [CROSSTALK]. All right, now you students know what you need to study. You got it from one of the senior people in the industry. Not only study, not only [UNKNOWN] Yes. Yeah. You have to know a lot about the industry and about people's appetites. You have to know a lot. Yes. And where they're going. Yes. Especially what's happening in the market. Yes. Before I let you go, I always like to ask senior executives, what are you driving these days? What's your current car? Exclusively in Japan? The Rogue. Rogue. [LAUGH] Ok. You've got a, of course. You've got the Rogue. Yeah, I got the Rogue. All right. Love it.