If it weren't for focus groups, the design of the 2018 Chevrolet Equinox could have looked so much different.
Speaking to Automotive News, chief engineer of the 2018 Equinox Mark Cieslak revealed that focus groups weren't not impressed with the first designs of the redesigned model. They described the design as being bulky, 'not compelling', and looking a bit odd. If this was old GM, they would have gone forward with the design.
"Back in the day, we would have probably just kept going," said Cieslak.
"What we had on paper we felt was not going to win."
But this being the new GM where bean counters lost a fair amount of influence, the decision was made to go back to the drawing board. At the time, GM was scrambling to fix the Malibu as its redesign earned poor reviews and a drop in sales which likely played a part in this decision. They needed to get the Equinox redesign right as the model it would replace was very popular. There were concerns that this could cause the new Equinox to be delayed. But in the end, the team were able to design a new Equinox without falling off schedule.
Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)