Penton's WardsAuto Challenges Student Designers to Reimagine the Pickup Truck Interior in 2025

WardsAuto and College for Creative Studies to unveil finalist designs in student competition on April 9 at SAE World Congress

Apr 02, 2014, 08:00 ET from Penton

SOUTHFIELD, Mich., April 2, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Penton's WardsAuto and the College for Creative Studies (CCS) in Detroit have challenged students participating in the fifth annual WardsAuto Interiors Student Design Competition to envision a pickup truck interior in the year 2025.

Pickup trucks are more than transportation to their owners: They are powerful symbols -  and many owners describe their trucks as an extension of their personality. But tough new fuel-economy and emissions rules are forcing pickups to evolve into more efficient vehicles, while still preserving their core characteristics of toughness, power and practicality.

The Student Design Competition, sponsored by International Automotive Components (IAC) and Lear, has tasked students with designing a durable, practical, sophisticated and attractive interior that integrates the multiple roles pickups play in their owners' lives – from serving as a rolling office to a recreational vehicle.

Students were given a scenario involving a family in 2025:  The husband is a successful building contractor, mom is a veterinarian for large animals, and the couple has two grown children who often accompany them in their pickup truck or take it out on their own excursions.  The vehicle to serve this family must be versatile with the latest technological features that each family member would expect.

Designs for the competition, with support from SAE International, will be on display at the SAE World Congress (April 8-10, 2014, Cobo Center, Detroit, MI) in WardsAuto booth 1209.  Finalists will be unveiled during a ceremony at the Ward's booth on Wednesday, April 9 at 4:30 pm.  The finalists will then be honored at the WardsAuto Interiors Conference (May 21, 2014, The Henry Hotel, Dearborn MI), where the grand prize winner will be announced, along with recipients of special awards from IAC and Lear.

The Lear Innovation Award will be bestowed upon the student whose work includes a specific design or technological innovation the judges deem particularly creative and forward-thinking. The IAC EcoBlend Award will go to the student whose design or concept best embraces green mobility or utilizes lightweight renewable/recyclable materials and other Earth-friendly innovations.

"This competition is so refreshing for us and our readers," says Drew Winter, Editor-in-Chief of WardsAuto World.  "The world's auto makers have come a long way in making the vehicle interior a priority, but it's vital that new ideas be embraced. The student designs are very creative and are not production-ready, but they deliver a wealth of ideas on how auto makers can appeal to a new generation of pickup buyers. "

The student entries can be seen at  Finalists will be posted to the site following the April 9 unveiling, and the winners will be celebrated online following the May 21 WardsAuto Interiors Conference.

About WardsAuto
WardsAuto is a world-leading provider of auto industry news, data and analysis, having served the industry's information needs for more than 85 years. WardsAuto World is a monthly magazine serving automotive professionals around the world. The twice-monthly newsletter WardsAuto Engine & Technology Update provides analysis of engineering advancements and technical issues. is an online subscription service delivering all the industry news, data and analysis compiled by WardsAuto. A Southfield, MI-based division of Penton Inc., WardsAuto also publishes the weekly industry newsletter Ward's Automotive Reports, the digital tablet magazine WardsAuto Dealer Business, and offers a wealth of other automotive information services including reference annuals, online databases, and customized data reports.

About Penton
Penton is a leading professional information services company that engages and informs millions of professionals every day, helping them grow and solve their most critical business challenges. As a provider of critical workflow solutions and insightful content, marketing services and networking, Penton helps businesses do business in five core growth markets: agriculture, transportation, natural products/food, infrastructure, and industrial design/manufacturing

Penton is a growth company with a track-record of strong performance and success and is backed by its co-owners: MidOcean Partners and U.S. Equity Partners II, an investment fund sponsored by Wasserstein & Co., LP.

For additional information on the company and its businesses, visit

About the College for Creative Studies
Located in the heart of Detroit, the College for Creative Studies (CCS) educates artists and designers to be leaders in creative professions. A private, fully accredited college, CCS enrolls more than 1,400 students pursuing Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) and Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degrees. Students in the BFA program can major in Advertising: Copywriting, Advertising Design, Crafts, Entertainment Arts, Fine Arts, Graphic Design, Illustration, Interior Design, Photography, Product Design and Transportation Design, in addition to a dual major Art Education program. Students in the MFA program can major in Interdisciplinary Design, Transportation Design, Color and Materials Design and Interaction Design. The College also offers non-credit courses in the visual arts through its Precollege and Continuing Studies programs and opportunities for youth through its Community Arts Partnerships programs. For more information about CCS, visit

Chris Lamphear
Director of Marketing, Penton Transportation Group
(248) 799-2658