Have you ever wondered what happens before the premiere of a new car or concept? The Czech automaker Škoda is now revealing what such a performance will look like from a transportation point of view.
The design proposal support team from Mladá Boleslav’s Design Prototyping and Digitization division is in charge of transporting the cars, which are usually still waiting to be revealed to the public. It was founded in 2004 and from the start it was led by Michel Moravec as Presentation Coordinator.
His collection mainly distinguishes three types of model presentations. The first is strictly confidential, and is intended exclusively for the approval of appearance by the management of the vehicle manufacturer or concern.
“Design presentations for vehicle approval prior to management are one of the final stages in the design preparation process for us, and this is perhaps the most important stage. How the presentation takes place will fundamentally affect the fate of the vehicle, that is, whether management approves it,” he stresses the importance of Presentation preparations Martin Bogner, Head of Design Prototyping and Digitization.
Then there are the public shows for the first time, both at car shows and in digital form. And the third type is car shows, which are often held in unusual places so that the car attracts the public even in combination with space.
The Morávek team is responsible for transferring all kinds of forms for all kinds of presentations. This means that they must be able to transport clay models, so-called “rigid models” made of solid materials, and of course mobile presentation models, which really look like a completed car.
“We usually treat unique pieces of immeasurable value, which are irreplaceable in presentation, but also completely susceptible to damage. It is a huge responsibility,” says Michel Moravec.
How do you pack a unique piece?
Meticulous packaging is usually done at the beginning of each transfer, and its method should reduce the risk of potential spoilage. This is one reason why some parts, such as handles and mirrors, are packed separately and others are held in place with protective tapes and films.
The models are then loaded for transportation, usually in special trucks with an air-conditioned transport space. If the vehicle is traveling outside Europe for presentation and will therefore be transported by air, a special air-conditioned container is provided.
Models require a constant temperature between 20 and 22 degrees Celsius. “There are about three shipping companies in the world that are able to provide such transportation,” Moravec says. Even in this case, someone from the design view support team oversees everything. “At the airport, we make sure that the transition from the check-in area to the plane is as short as possible,” the team leader explains.
After the delivery reaches its destination, the team must of course reassemble the vehicle. But it is not so simple as it seems, this assembly includes, for example, the operation of lighting or the correct adjustment of the ground clearance. And if the show involves some manipulation or even a short trip, then it is necessary to test that everything is working as it should.
However, the model show support team also ensures, for example, that the models are manipulated during the show, whether that’s by controlling a common “turntable” or choreographing potential driving chores.
A piece of the wall must go
The challenge is to make public displays of models that take place in unusual places that are not ready for a motor show. “For example, we showed our work in the Mánes exhibition hall in Prague, but also in the former bank building at a design event,” says Morávek.
“We have to put the cars there, of course, but that is the icing on the cake. Sometimes it is necessary to fully understand how the car will be presented in a particular place and how we will actually get it there,” Moravec describes. In the former bank building in the center of Prague, for example, it was necessary to demolish part of the entrance gate, and later restore it, as cars drove inside after the exhibition ended.
Usually these are centimeters. Therefore, in such cases, the driver of the model (either sitting inside or controlling the car remotely) does not manipulate the car himself, and also has other colleagues available to help him. Moravec explains why it is difficult to “drive” with the cars on display, “There is often a bad view of the models, they do not have cameras and other equipment, moreover, their pedigree is always new to us.”
In addition to car showrooms, corporate and group presentations and other potential public exhibitions (eg at the Škoda Museum), the Design Shows support team also ensures that Škoda design models can be cast in films and series. “If you see the Škoda brand concept in action on the screen, somebody of us runs it,” concludes Morávek.
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