The Chinese car market is the world’s biggest with more and more brands evolving and a great variety of choice already available. Domestic brands’ market share is increasing steadily. As a foreign automaker, it is more than ever important to meet consumers’ expectations and preferences and to know about future trends and favorable design in China. The growing number of Chinese automotive design studios who provide support to OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) underlines this necessity. Matthieu David-Experton, CEO and founder of Daxue Consulting, adds: “Automotive designers in China need to consider the differences to the West. For instance, it is quite common that Chinese parents live with their grandparents, which may require another design of the car.”
The client needed insider information of Chinese automotive design studios
Daxue Consulting’s client, an Asian consultancy specialized in design trends, attempted to gain an overview of the Chinese automotive design studios. Therefore, the company approached Daxue’s research team to assess the operations and activities of various design studios of automobile manufacturers including staffing, organization, future strategies, and responsibilities of projects.
An in-depth assessment of the environment in two steps
At first, Daxue Consulting performed an extensive desk research which enabled the team to create an understanding of the Chinese automotive design studios. It encompassed localization and development of the studios, as well as detecting upcoming trends on the market as well as the insights into future Chinese car design. The research also helped the consultants to create the guide for the following step, namely mystery calls.
The so-called smart calls supported Daxue Consulting to gain additional information from the Chinese automotive design studios which the team could not obtain detailed enough through the previous phase. The consultants, therefore, prepared the necessary framework for the interaction with the studios’ in-house team members. During the conversation, the interviewer hides the real profile and instead pretends to be someone else with the aim to get as much private information as possible. Thus, Daxue could gain valuable knowledge about the following aspects:
- Design strategies
- Current and future project types
- Staff responsibilities and team composition
- which brands they work for
The final report encompassed worthwhile insights
After the final analysis, conducted horizontal and vertical, Daxue Consulting prepared the findings. The report included a comprehensive overview of 20 different Chinese automotive design studios encompassing an in-depth assessment of each studio considering the location, project scope, key accounts, contact details of decision makers, staffing estimates, trends such as the preference towards SUVs for instance, research and innovation, design strategy and more.
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