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“N for Work” N-VAN Design Enriches Possibilities for Life with Loading and Carrying

Article of Honda R&D Technical Review Vol.32 No.2

Summary

The N-VAN is a microvan that as successor to the ACTY VAN represents the first full model change in 19 years. Since the time of its founding, Honda has pursued experiential value that would help enrich customers’ lives.
Honda Design refers to this as experience design and engages in vehicle design that ponders ever more deeply about the customer’s experiential value. N-VAN development was also based on this kind of thinking, and in order to reach a deeper understanding of the customer, research was done into the actual circumstances of people who work and people who engage in loading and carrying cargo. The designers themselves worked with package models and went through repeated trial and error to experience directly how different cargo would be loaded, what kinds of issues would be encountered when loading, what points people would have challenging with, and so on. As a result, it was decided that customers are of two types, those who emphasize functionality and those who also like to emphasize style in addition to functionality. First, for customers who emphasize functionality, the concept of “a tool for a life that involves loading and carrying things” was determined, with the idea that the vehicle would become like a familiar tool that is easy to work with. The base G and L grades were designed around the keywords of “a feeling of flexible usability,” “a feeling of unstressed security,” “a feeling of solid stability,” and “beautility.” With these G and L grades as a foundation, another grade called +STYLE was configured to support a world view of each customer who places importance on style in addition to functionality. With these two grades, a new standard was created for a new microvan that becomes an important tool for everyday lives that involve loading and carrying things.

Author (organization or company)

Maki YAMAGUCHI(Design Center)、Chiaki KATO(Design Center)、Yoshihisa YANAGIMOTO(Design Center)、Noriyuki ISHIDA(Design Center)

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