April 19, 2013

Shanghai, Day One: Three Dozen Reporters and One Great Vehicle Concept

By Tim Yerdon

What a day – high energy, lots of questions from the media and a great supporting team! This was one of the most intense media days in which I’ve participated. At our technical center in Shanghai, we hosted 15 journalists at a morning session and 20 reporters in the afternoon. Each session opened with an overview presentation on the e-Bee vehicle concept, followed by a question-and-answer session. The journalists then were given the opportunity to sit in the e-Bee and speak with one of the experts  on the project. Simultaneously, I spoke with several reporters who wanted more information about our innovation process and the creation of the e-Bee.

Both sessions went longer than expected, but I felt it was from pure interest in the project, not due to any lack of understanding – since our digital assets gave media the necessary background to “dive” into some good questions. The real surprise to me was the interest in the “process of innovation” and the features and functions we incorporate for the different regions. Naturally, the technologies featured on the e-Bee for China garnered the most attention.  I’m curious how other companies view the China market with their vehicle concepts. What would you expect to see?

The consumer research we conducted in China last year with our partner YanFeng Visteon is going to pay dividends now. We have a strong China story that’s relevant to the overall e-Bee concept, and a keen understanding of the persona of a vehicle buyer in China today.  This will be exciting to see in action when the auto show opens, since we’ll be able to direct customers between the Yanfeng Visteon and Visteon booths. This event will be a true testament to collaboration within the Visteon family of companies.

As I write this, we’re loading up the e-Bee vehicle for delivery to its next stop:  The Shanghai New International Expo Centre for Auto Shanghai 2013. 

Tim Yerdon is always looking ahead to tomorrow’s technology. As global director of innovation and design, he leads a team responsible for translating market trends and “voice of the consumer” data into innovative concepts and first-to-market products. During his 18-year automotive career, he has worked in manufacturing, product development, program management and racing at Visteon and Ford Motor Co.

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