After 33 million visits to its website and more than 119,000 ideas submitted, you would be inclined to think that Volkswagen would have more to show than these three concepts from its ‘People’s Car Project’ (PCP) that was launched in China 11 months ago.
The three vehicles and technology concepts created by users and further developed by the German automaker that went on display at the Auto China 2012 in Beijing are the Hover Car, the Music Car and the Smart Key.
The Hover Car is a study for a zero-emission, two-seater city car that floats just above the ground using electromagnetic road networks, while the Music Car is said to "express the wish of many Chinese for individual automotive design" through the use of organic LEDs that change the color of the vehicle depending on the music.
As for the ‘Smart Key’, it measures just 9mm tall and has a high-resolution touchscreen that keeps the driver up to date on the fuel situation, climate conditions and the car’s security via the 3G network.
"‘The ‘People’s Car Project’ in China marks the beginning of a new era in automobile design," said Luca de Meo, marketing director at the VW Group. "We are no longer just building cars for, but also with customers and at the same time initiating a national dialog which gives us a deep insight into the design preferences, needs and requirements of Chinese customers."
Even though it only showed three concepts in Beijing, Volkswagen says that it is extremely pleased with the high demand and the "exceptionally good quality of the contributions", and for this reason, the PCP, which was originally scheduled to run for one year, has been indefinitely extended.
"In a long-term context the findings of the ‘People‘s Car Project’ will influence Volkswagen’s product strategy," de Meo explained. "The design of our models will, however, continue to reflect the tradition of the Volkswagen brand. If at some time in the future we are to produce a vehicle from the ‘People’s Car Project’, it will be a combination of customers’ opinions and brand tradition."