Denza brand wants to be more premium in China, according to its designer

Article by Anita Panait, on April 30, 2012

Mercedes-Benz, in partnership with Chinese car manufacturer BYD, has introduced the Denza electric vehicle concept at the 2012 Beijing International Auto Show. The partnership’s concept displayed at the Beijing Motor Show previews the looks and specs of its upcoming domestic electric domestic car, the Denza. The Denza concept is designed by Mercedes’ most trusted designer for its Asian vehicles, Olivier Boulay.

The French designer was one of the designers sent to Beijing in 2008 to carve a look distinct and attractive to Chinese car buyers. He was sent to Beijing by global design chief Gorden Wagener to establish a Mercedes studio, the Advanced Design Center of China.

The Denza concept, a C-E class-sized, four-door, two-box sedan, is one of the cars designed by the studio. As local as it may be, the Denza is unique compared to other joint venture brands as it features the looks and taste of luxury that other brands don’t have. Boulay said the inspiration for the Denza was to create “something more premium.”

Unlike other cars in the show that attempt to embed Chinese design by incorporating dragons and other visual icons onto their look, the Denza, according to Boulay, features a Chinese design as a statement of technology.

Boulay said his studio, the Advanced Design Center of China, aims to make an intellectual design. Boulay currently employs six designers, three of whom are Chinese, at the studio. The Advanced Design Center of China currently enjoys a workforce of less than 20 people, but Boulay aims to expand it to around 50.  Mercedes and BYD will launch the Denza brand in 2013. [source: Autonews]

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