The North American International Auto Show in Detroit is the world's most prestigious auto show, so it's no surprise that an organization of automotive designers created an awards show to correspond with the NAIAS event. Eyes on Design has taken on such a high status with automotive designers that its importance for designers has been compared to that of the Oscars for movie stars. What is surprising is that at the 2003 NAIAS, a loaded concept truck took home the lion's share of the 3rd Annual Eyes on Design kudos.
The Eyes on Design competition recognizes and honors "vision in automotive design," and it's judged solely by automotive design professionals. The 40-member judging panel includes practicing automotive designers, design school faculty, and student designers from around the world. This highly competent jury awarded the Chevrolet Cheyenne concept the Most Significant Design Concept, Best Concept Interior Design, Best Concept Exterior Design, and Best of Show.
Dick Ruzzin, chairman of the judging board, said "Cheyenne was an exceptional design composed of very strong solutions, both in its interior and exterior design themes. Supported with innovative functional attributes, it stood out for its quality of execution and harmony. It represented the visual brand character of Chevrolet Truck extremely well and is very well proportioned. The Cheyenne concept has a strong and robust presence that clearly enhances the Chevrolet Truck brand."
We recognize that often designers speak in an obscure code that doesn't automatically translate into plain English. However, we agree with Ruzzin's sentiments. We'd just clarify things by saying the Cheyenne concept is radically stylish.
Chevy Truck HeritageThe Cheyenne concept is perhaps as significant as the '55 Chevrolet Cameo Carrier that Clay Dean, director of design, small truck/Hummer, says influenced the developmental thinking behind the Cheyenne concept. The Cheyenne not only draws from the heritage of the well-known Cameo Carrier, but it was also inspired by the '60 redesigned pickups as well as the '67 and '73 production Cheyennes and even the '88 Silverado.
But the real story of the Cheyenne, at least in our view, is how the design team dreamed up such an aesthetically appealing package loaded with the type of functions and accessories that we never knew we needed until we saw the Cheyenne concept.
According to Dean, the design assignment was aimed at how to take the next step in fullsize truck design. Dean said Chevrolet recognizes the market is changing. New competitors are entering the segment, and there are many first-time truck buyers coming into the market. The design team's job was to create a noteworthy design that would make a statement about the Chevrolet brand.