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Keeping customers happy

  • Designers face a challenge
  • Safety dictates style

  • Volvo design boss talks

Words ByWhat Car? Staff

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Keeping customers happy
There are increased demands on the inside, too, as customers call for the latest in in-car entertainment.

Indeed, the cabin is one of the most complex design challenges there is. In the average car, around 400 interior parts must be designed, engineered, tested, mass-produced and all brought together with a high degree of fit and finish. They must also be designed to function over an ever-increasing lifespan, be useable with the minimum of distraction at 70mph and cause little or no injury in a collision.

Oh, and don't forget the cupholders the advent of the 'Big Gulp' drink has probably had a greater impact on interior design than the invention of the three-point safety belt.

We face similar challenges on the exterior. Who can forget the helicopter landing-pad-sized bumpers from the early days of crash protection? Nowadays, a greater degree of safety is managed in a bumper that appears to be almost flush with the rest of the car.

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