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“They lack the balls to let one person drive the design value so that there’s continuity and perspective from the sketch to realization. It started with Edsel with the focus groups then you went to car companies being more about shareholders and Wall Street and the constant lie of ‘next year we’re going to sell 110 percent more!’ which they can’t sustain. It’s a false model. So then they give the cars away or incentivize them or whatever, so it’s a Wall Street game. It’s not a design-driven product, which it should be and always ways. Back in the day a Desoto was a Desoto because one guy ran it versus Chrysler versus Plymouth. Versus whomever. It’s that more than anything.

ICON - Surf Collective 2

My whole thing is that automotive companies have become more of a whorehouse not just from design but from brand priority. So if you look at Bugatti and why that name resonates today, it’s because Ettore was a lunatic and he held the line and was passionate about it. Here we are almost 100 years later and it means something. When W.O. ran Bentley and Bentley-Rolls was fucked up — facilities no resources all in the red — the brand value, the panache, what it stood for, was distinct. Tell me a car company today that can honestly say that.” – Jonathan Ward, founder, ICON.

Why Detroit can’t make cool cars.

By Hannah Elliott