On a recent visit to the Honda R & D facility in Wako, Japan, our Editor in Chief Adil Jal Darukhanawala was enlightened by one of the most creative minds at Honda's design stable, Mr Nobuki Ebisawa, General Manager, Honda R & D Co. Ltd. Here is the exclusive interview.
AJD: They say the visual aspect of the car is what turns on many motorists to go out, look at it, consider it and then buy it. One of the key elements in this strategy is in the realm of the designers. No one plays this better, emotionally, visually, physically, to convey every sense of the term where passion, dynamism, utility, and also practicality comes into the picture. I’m standing here in one very famous design studio at Honda's R&D Company at Wacko in Japan. This place did the first designs for tow great Honda badges – the Civic and the Accord. Today it is churning out cars for the next generation. And we are going to speak to the person who heads it, runs it with a lot of skill, technology and passion going all the way back to the qualities endowed by Soichiro Honda, the company founder. I’m going to introduce to you Ebisawa-san, who is the heart and soul of Honda’s design studio.
Ebisawa-san, welcome to ZigWheels. Can you tell us about Honda design. What is the real Honda design philosophy, the DNA.
EB: Honda's DNA is represented by the two cars that we launched when we got into the automotive market, the S500 which is a very small sports car, and the other one is the T360 which is a small truck. The fact that those two cars were launched into the market almost simultaneously, this represents a key factor of the Honda DNA. The S500 is a sportscar which represents the dynamism and fun of cars. The other one is represented by the small truck which represents the mobility, the functionality of transporting people and goods. Dynamism and functionality – those form the core, the main axis of Honda’s DNA.
AJD: Very importantly, Honda came from motorcycles into cars. How much of the motorcycle rider do you still keep in mind when you think about evolving cars? Do you want to keep him in the same Honda family when he moves from motorcycles to cars?
EB: Of course, for motorcycles the first thing that comes to mind is the fun of riding, which connects to the dynamism of automobiles that we talked about earlier. At the same time, the motorcycle has the minimum and really efficient functionality in terms of mobility or moving people and goods. In that sense, even in motorcycles I believe that the combination of functionality and dynamism have been the key core in the design. IT is fair to say that we are developing motorcycles and automobiles based on the same DNA, with the same core.
AJD: Honda has moved across from a lot of different concepts - the sports car which you spoke about, the S500, and the truck as well. You were also the originator of the very small mini van, the Step Wagon. But I have never seen Honda pursue the Step Wagon concept outside Japan, whereas the other Japanese manufacturers took the small vans outside of Japan.
EB: It is true that we are not selling the Step Wagon outside Japan, however we are selling, for example, a model called Freed in Thailand and the Odyssey in the US as well. If you just look at the Step Wagon, we aimed it at the Japanese domestic market and we wanted to maximize the value of this car for the domestic market. That is how we stand right now.
Das ganze Interview steht hier: http://www.zigwheels.com/news-features/a...cellence/7380/1
Da sagt so ein Mann, das der S500 und der T360 die DNA von HONDA ist. Ich bin beeindruckt.
Präsident und erster Vorsitzender des Aufsichtsrates des HRT-OWL und stolz drauf.
Make love, not war.
|Da wohne ich:||Paderborn|