Tuesday, July 22, 2003

Modu-car -- Honda is pondering a youth-oriented brand, like Toyota's Scion. An unsolicited game plan:
  • Build a relatively conservative looking car. (The 2002 Honda Civic Si comes to mind.)
  • Make all the exterior part that are popular to customize -- headlight clusters, taillight clusters, bumper, grill, sills, etc. -- simple and easy to replace. Make it easy for third-parties to manufacture modules to spec. Make it easy for owners to swap them.
  • Do the same for the interior.
  • Make the engine easy to customize. Publish the chip specs. Make room for mounting a turbo-charger and related plumbing.
  • Build it to be lowered.
In short, build a blank canvas.

The folks at Saturn designed a car, and asked themselves, "What could we make modular to make it more popular to tuners?" The best they could do was interchangeable roof-rail trim. Better to ask what customizing tuners already do and build a car to meet their clearly articulated priorities.