- Gebundene Ausgabe: 256 Seiten
- Verlag: Motorbooks Intl (20. August 2004)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 076031943X
- ISBN-13: 978-0760319437
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 16,2 x 2,5 x 23,8 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: Schreiben Sie die erste Bewertung
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 780.216 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
Smart Thinking: The Little Car That Made It Big (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 20. August 2004
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The story of smart is an epic tale of genius, inspiration, hope, disappointment, disaster and ultimate triumph. Funky, stylish and fun, smart is the youngest and most exciting brand of car on the market - and it has revolutionised the way we think about cars and the way we use them. It has put much-needed fun back into driving, and even city motorists smile when they're at the wheel of a smart. But it nearly didn't happen at all. The revolutionary design was the product of the genius who invented the Swatch watch, saving the near-bankrupt Swiss watch industry in the process. The sensational story of smart traces the decadelong history of this ambitious project, talking to key figures from every stage of the programme and building a vivid picture of an idea ahead of its time.
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So if you're looking for a historical account on Smart, this is a great book. If you're looking for current materials... wait till the end of 2008 or later.
The author is extremely repetitive when it comes to describing what corporate manager green-lighted or red-lighted some particular stage along the way -- meanwhile failing to relate much if anything about the actual design development of the car. To wit, there are far more photos of middle managers than actual cars.
When the 450 receives a new rear suspension, there is little analysis or description. Who styled the 450? It's suggested that Michael Mauer had a hand in it, but chronologically that couldn't have happened as he came after the car was styled. What were the discussion leading up to the automated manual transmission? Who conceived of the Trideon and named it? I hoped the book would have explored the car more.
The other big problem is that the book has an unctuous, obsequious tone -- cheerleading on behalf of Smart, possibly as a quid pro quo in return for having been given such unfettered corporate access. I found way too many ungrounded, biased statements to feel the "voice" of the book was any where near impartial.
In contrast, I would cite Brock Yates' "The Critical Path: Inventing an Automobile and Reinventing a Corporation"; "All Corvettes Are Red" by James Schefter and "Car: A Drama of the American Workplace" by Mary Walton as compelling books that delve into the the history and development of a car model.
Tony Lewin writes it with a comic easy going style that is easily to pick up and never really feels tired. The story uncovers some of the myths that follow the smart car, along with it's design process from an idea all the way to a finished product. Since the book was published, the company (Smart) has changed direction, but, that as they say, is another story.
The book is well worth reading and provides an insightful look into the politics and idiosyncratic closed world of car manufacturing. The Smart car like the Spitfire aircraft of WW2, both share a similar potted development history, in that it's amazing that either ever saw the light of day.