Interview: Peugeot’s Design VP

Interview: Peugeot’s Design VP

Peugeot had 40 cars on display at the Paris Motor Show and I had a great chance to get some insight into the French manufacturer’s design process. I caught up with Gilles Vidal, Peugeot’s vice-president of design, to get the lowdown.

What goes through your mind when designing a car?

The challenge is about expressing qualities and showing values. Peugeot has a proud history going back 124 years and we are always looking for elegance. All designers have constraints and that is a challenge, but we are all looking for the wow effect.

Peugeot is targeting the Chinese market. Is that difficult from a design perspective?

It is not just China. We are making Peugeot a more recognised brand worldwide. South America, Asia and South Africa are also getting attention. But yes, we must take in to consideration conditions in certain markets. Requirements for interior space, for example, may be different from market to market. We have lots of specialists working on projects and it’s about being innovative. We research a lot and seek new hi-tech solutions. But, at the same time, you need to counterbalance the future and past.

What are some challenges when it comes to design?

We are always moving forward and our environment is increasingly important. Reducing our carbon footprint is essential and is something we are always aware of when it comes to materials being used.

What is your favourite Peugeot?

The previous 308. That was a good piece of car. It was complete.

Bruce Fraser