AutoPacific Enhances Transportation Design Education at Art Center

by April 13th, 2011

The most successful transportation designers are not simply adept at creating exciting new vehicle concepts, they are able to participate in and understand market research, brand development and user scenarios.

© Steven A. Heller/Art Center College of Design

But how do Art Center’s Transportation Design students gain these skills?

For a decade, AutoPacific has partnered with the College to enhance the educational experience of transportation design students through its annual donation of consumer and market research and forecasting data for the transportation industry. This highly valuable data is the same information used by major automotive manufacturers, suppliers and agencies around the world to understand market and consumer trends and sales projections for a range of vehicles.

Faculty member Robert Blum forged the relationship with AutoPacific in 2001 and the data the company makes available is central to his class, Introduction to Product Planning for Transportation Design. “The students are able to dig into this massive amount of information and learn how to interpret it for the purposes of product planning and development,” he says. “It helps them understand how to make choices about what to develop for whom, and why.”

Adds Stewart Reed, Art Center Transportation Design Chair, “It’s exciting for us to see students learn the broader language of product strategy and business and be able to talk about how their concepts address real market opportunities.”

The licenses that AutoPacific donates provide access to Competitive Battleground data for North America, Asia and Europe with consumer insights for every segment, make and model the company tracks; five-year Sales Forecasting information that is updated quarterly; and the company’s exclusive Research Suite database which is made accessible through PAI survey analysis software. “PAI’s mTABTM software allows for the easy statistical analysis of large amounts of data from AutoPacific’s database,” says Blum.

“Art Center’s partnership with AutoPacific has been incredibly valuable in elevating the educational experience for our students. The data they provide is also used by many of our eighth term students on their thesis projects. It increases the sophistication of our graduates, without a doubt.”

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