Student Designers See Big Things for Tomorrow's Small Cars

WardsAuto and College for Creative Studies to unveil finalist designs in student competition on April 25 at SAE World Congress

Mar 22, 2012, 12:41 ET from Penton Media, Inc.

SOUTHFIELD, Mich., March 22, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Small is in, according to global automotive design trends.  However, Americans continue to love their trucks, SUVs, minivans and other larger vehicles that promise flexibility that many small modern vehicles can't yet deliver.

This was the challenge posted to a group of seniors at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, MI.  The students were tasked with marrying the best of a small vehicle (environmentally friendly and well suited to life in crowded cities) with the best of a large vehicle (space for friends and family, and multi-purpose capabilities) in a way that buyers will embrace by year 2025.

The work was done for WardsAuto's third annual Student Design Competition, sponsored by International Automotive Components (IAC) and Lear Corporation, with support from SAE International. All design entries will be on display at the SAE World Congress (April 24-26, 2012, Cobo Center, Detroit, MI) in Ward's booth M-1319.  Finalists will be unveiled during a ceremony at the Ward's booth on Wednesday, April 25 at 4:30 pm.  The finalists will then be honored at the WardsAuto Interiors Conference (May 17, 2012, 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 are sought and embraced.  The students who design for this competition are displaying pure creativity, and while these may not be production-ready concepts, they deliver a wealth of ideas on how auto makers can appeal to a new generation of car buyers."

The student entries can be seen at  Finalists will be posted to the site following the April 25 unveiling, and the winners will be celebrated online following the May 17 WardsAuto Interiors Conference.

About Ward's Automotive Group
Ward's Automotive Group is a world-leading provider of auto industry news, data and analysis, having served the industry's information needs for more than 80 years. WardsAuto World is a monthly magazine serving automotive professionals. is an online subscription service delivering virtually all the industry news, data and analysis compiled by Ward's Automotive Group, the world's leader in automotive industry information. A Southfield, MI - based division of Penton Media, Inc., Ward's Automotive Group also publishes the weekly industry newsletter Ward's Automotive Reports, and offers a wealth of other automotive information services including reference annuals, online databases, and customized data reports.

About Penton Media, Inc.
As a leading, independent, business-to-business media company, Penton knows business and how to create and disseminate the vital content that moves markets.  Penton is where professionals turn to gain the critical insight, expert analysis, and relevant connections needed to compete and succeed.  The Company is headquartered in New York City with approximately 1,100 employees across key locations throughout the world including New York; Cleveland; Chicago; Overland Park, Kansas; Boulder, Colorado; Fort Collins, Colorado; and Hong Kong.  Penton is a privately held company owned by MidOcean Partners and U.S. Equity Partners II, an investment fund sponsored by Wasserstein & Co., LP, and its co-investors. For additional information on the company and its businesses, visit

About the College for Creative Studies
College for Creative Studies (CCS) is an integrated learning community located in Detroit. A private, fully accredited college, CCS enrolls 1,400 students pursuing Master of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees. CCS also offers visual art opportunities for learners of all ages through its Community Arts Partnerships and Continuing Education programs. The Advancing the Creative Spirit campaign enables CCS to provide a world-class art and design curriculum and innovative programming. The $55 million campaign has raised more than $45 million to date, and the College is working hard to keep its promise to the community. For more information, visit

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


SOURCE Penton Media, Inc.