Monday, August 15, 2005

It's like art -- Forget the wet kiss to Bob Lutz rulebook-tearer-upper that opens this Car and Driver preview of the HHR. (Note to Aaron: Lutz has had four years. Name one Lutz product that's a segment leader or near leader.) What blew us away was the fact that the hood on Chevy's entrant into the now over retro craze "with its deep concavity and delicate accent lines requires five separate 'hits' from the presses and ranks as one of the most complicated sheetmetal parts GM has ever produced[.]"

When you're building a sub-$20K econowagon with sales forecasts that have been scaled back from 100K to 60K units, having one of the "most complicated sheetmetal parts" is not a fact to be proud of. It's a poorly designed econo-anything that is colossally complicated to produce.

As one point of comparison, consider the Honda Accord. Its hood looks like what they put on the development mule until a production hood was ready. The thing barely bends, and then in one direction only. There's nary a crease or character line. They can probably do ten hoods with a single hit of the presses. Doesn't look like it's prevented them from selling a kazillion.