Lau­rens van den Acker, Re­nault

Wheels (Australia) - - DESIGN SPECIAL -

There are de­tail de­sign­ers, and then there are big-pic­ture vi­sion­ar­ies. Re­nault’s Lau­rens van den Acker tends to the lat­ter. “Prod­ucts on their own are im­por­tant but not enough,” he says. “We need to change our brand. It’s why we stayed in For­mula 1. If we didn’t have F1 we would be just like any other gen­er­al­ist man­u­fac­turer, but here we are com­pet­ing against Mercedes and Fer­rari and McLaren.

“Im­age is a col­lec­tion of many pieces,” he says of Re­nault’s chess game strat­egy. His de­liv­ery of the Re­nault EZ au­ton­o­mous de­sign study (above) was one of the high­lights at Paris this year and set an em­phatic and achingly de­sir­able tem­plate for lux­ury driver­less trans­port. Van den Acker is look­ing at the long game. “Sooner or later the cus­tomer will wake up to us.”

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