My opinion is that car companies should ‘open source’ their car parts. By completely open sourcing their designs and methods they would be encouraging a huge level of innovation across the board.
That is a huge dream, which I imagine will not become a reality in the near future. Given that most manufacturers are only able to protect their investment by patenting their designed systems.
So…. how about this as a simpler system.
Create almost an API for car parts… This would be a tool that could be used to manufacture parts either the tool itself or just a set of plans for other people to put together. This tool should fit the majority of car panels available for the model of car its made for to allow for flexibility in creation and a simple building system.
This would allow other businesses to be involved with efficiently manufacturing and improving parts (similar to how a computer is built with industry standard connectors) and focus your time on the design and efficiency. Where I can see this being particularly useful is with car panels.
What would be necessary for success would be generic ‘building block’ type panels and a simple, cheap, light and strong generic material for making the panels from. I am not very good at mechanical compounds but maybe something like fibre glass or a polymer that will harden when dry.
A big advantage of this process is that parts don’t need to be manufactured to estimate demand. You need a part, it gets manufactured right there in the shop or at the local manufacturer who manufactures ALL the available panels possible, in single units if needed.
Allowing smaller businesses into this space will mean the best research can get done. Smaller companies working together instead of one big company hoarding secrets. Think about one company focusing entirely on dashboard design or polymer materials for harder and safer panel material.
Is this type of business possible? Feasible? desirable?
I dunno, its just my opinion.