To expand a bit on Jay's post about our trip to the New York International Auto Show, not only did we see a lot of inspirational designs and equally as important - some very uninspiring designs, but we also had affirmation that we're on the right track.
If you can't read what it says in the upper left-hand corner, it reads, "Meet our new supermodels." What!!!??
The two things that were most validating were the presence of not only alternative fuel vehicles, but specifically the use of diesel power in the lineup of just about EVERY manufacturer, and seeing the Hummer Hx concept in person.
As for validating our choice of an innovative design for a performance off-road vehicle, that came not only in seeing the Hummer Hx, but from standing back for a while and just observing the reactions of the people passing by. Regardless of the demographic the response was the same - resoundingly positive and full of excitement.
My initial impression upon first seeing it was how small it actually was, despite reading that it was GM's answer to the Jeep Wrangler. This wasn't a bad thing at all, but from the pictures I've seen of it, the design - everything from the big whees and tires, the aggressive fender flares, the distinctive Hummer front end - gives a much larger, more powerful feel to the Hx.
In the driver door, they have a flashlight and a first aid kit - right were the driver can easily access them in a hurry, at night etc. rather than having to fumble through the rear compartment to find them.
In the passenger door is a shovel - not always critical to have quick access to, but you can still reach it from the driver side of the vehicle so it makes sense to put this in the passenger door versus the driver door, not to mention up front rather than in the rear compartment buried somewhere.
For these reasons and several more, our trip to the Auto Show was very inspiring and reaffirming. What we saw there will keep us focused on the track to manufacturing great cars in a simple but highly effective manner and avoid the complications that many larger manufacturers create for themselves to maintaining the right course.