BYD is pushing into a new era with the launch of its new Global Design Center at its global headquarters in Shenzhen, China. BYD believes the launch of the new Design Center will help take the company from its past as a technology and components supplier to a future where it sells more products directly to end users and consumers.
“Technology is BYD’s hard strength, and design will become the soft strength of the company,” said Wang Chuanfu, President and Chairman of BYD. “Both technology and design must be grasped firmly, to transform BYD’s products from being solely powered by ‘technology’ to leveraging the combined power of ‘technology + design’.”
In the last 16 years, BYD has pivoted from being primarily a supplier of batteries to global consumer electronics manufacturers to building direct relationships with customers through its automotive arm. More recently, that direct relationship has expanded to include residential energy storage, though the bulk of its business is still through larger, commercial, industrial, and utility contracts for its energy storage and solar offerings.
BYD’s technology has always been its core strength upon which it has built functional, cost effective products. The Design Center could take BYD to the next level as it looks to better integrate its technologies into the lives of its customers and establish itself as a serious contender in the world of automotive and consumer electronics design.
BYD’s E-SEED GT concept car boldly proclaimed this new focus at the Shanghai Auto Show in April and embodies much of what BYD hopes to accomplish at the new Design Center. It is a bold goal, but that is par for the course at BYD, where world-changing ideas like BYD’s SkyRail and its industry-leading electric buses have dominated from the start.
The Design Center will become the heart of design for the company and be responsible for future automotive, rail, and other transportation designs. BYD is initially planning for accommodations for 300 designers and 100 external design staff at the new facility, which will have a footprint of 12,600 square meters or 136,000 square feet.
The new facility was designed to facilitate an open, communicative, and creative work environment that BYD believes will provide fertile ground for its future designs to grow out of. It will feature cutting-edge design tools for its team to utilize in the creative process including Italian five-axis processing equipment for clay modeling, German clay-cutting tools that can modify designs in less than 24 hours, and a virtual reality (VR) system that enables 1:1 comparisons of full sized virtual models.
To shape the vision for the Design Center, BYD is stacking the deck with a team of experts led by BYD Global Design Director Wolfgang Egger. Egger has worked on numerous award-winning vehicles in previous roles with leading Italian and German automakers. BYD Global Exterior Design Director JuanMa Lopez and BYD Global Interior Design Director Michele Jauch-Paganetti complement his leadership and form the core of the automotive design team at the new facility.