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In conversation with Volkswagen’s design head Klaus Bischoff about the brand’s new logo, its future in electric cars and its new SUV for India.
We interviewed Volkswagen’s design boss on the sidelines of the Frankfurt motor show about Volkswagen’s new logo, its increasing focus on electric mobility and the brand’s new SUV based on the MQB A0 IN platform that will make its way to India. Here are some key excerpts:
evo: Can you talk us through the thinking behind the new logo?
Klaus: “Volkswagen will become much more digital, the relationship between the brand and customer will change with the new electric platforms and products we will have a new ID within Volkswagen so we have a more direct communication. The reason is that these cars are intelligent and over their lifetime we can keep improving the car. You can download applications, control the charging process, heating and other features via your smartphone so this led us to a new customer relationship. Our old logo was hard to read on smartphones and smart watches, that was one reason to move to a cleaner logo. The new digital relation was one motive. The other reason was the paradigm shift that Volkswagen is moving into emission free mobility so we need to rethink our attitude, customer relationship and even the way we design cars. One thing led to the other and we decided we needed a new brand logo.”
evo: Does this logo go across the entire range?
Klaus: “Yes it does, on all cars.”
evo: You said less than four years from a clean sheet of paper to the ID.3, what opportunities did making an electric car give you since packaging is much freer?
Klaus: “As a designer your aim is to move boundaries and electric mobility is giving us a strong force to move boundaries. The I.D family that you have seen today – the ID Bus, ID Vision, ID Buggy they are all on this platform and we’re working on all of them, they will all come one after the other. We are opening a new world of mobility and to conquer this new territory you need to be brave, you need to be strong and you have to have a plan because the layout of the platform is not an easy task and later down the road you can't say we made the wrong choice, so we can’t do this body style. We had to think about all the products that will come in the future, find the best combination of variations and make the investment and this is the first part of that investment that you see.”
evo: Is it important for electric cars to look happy and not aggressive?
Klaus: “For me, essentially yes. Volkswagen is a brand that conveys sympathy, it was born with sympathy in the face. Since we’re all talking about environmentally friendly behaviour let’s put a smile on the face, be kind, be happy, be electric and do something good for the world.”
evo: Does this preview the design language across the range or is this only for the I.D range?
Klaus: “You have seen the ID range that we previewed – that’s just a part of what’s coming because we won’t stop doing show cars and each show car means another project. You can see from the other brands, the I.D platform variations here, like Seat at the next stall, so it’s a big movement that you see.”
evo: You’re working on an SUV for India, how far along is that? Has it already been signed off?
Klaus: “The rocket is flying, no turning back now.”