*Andre Hudson, who is currently amongst an elite group of approximately five Black designers around the world to lead a car design studio, goes one-on-one with JeffCars.com to talk about his latest work of art, the Indi One, which made its world debut last fall in Beverly Hills, California.
Hudson is helping to usher in the electric car movement, albeit they only represented 3 percent of U.S. new vehicle sales in 2021. Before switching to electric vehicles, the creative genius made a name for himself at Hyundai, after composing the head-turning 2011 Sonata. The vehicle was named by the enthusiast’s magazine, Motor Trend, as one of the top fifteen most important cars last decade. In fact, at its peak, the sexy-looking sedan accounted for 40 percent of the Korean brand’s annual U.S. new vehicle sales. The automaker made so much money from Hudson design they were able to launch the Genesis luxury line.
Like with the Hyundai brand, the gifted designer played a significant role with the Genesis brand too. Hudson is credited with leading the exterior design of the first-generation G90, which is the Korean luxury brand’s flagship vehicle.
These days Hudson’s attention is keenly focused on leading a team to craft eye-popping electric vehicle designs. Check out our one-on-one conversation.
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What attracted you to this project and to join a start-up?
Starting something from scratch and leading a team towards a common vision was the challenge and the appeal. Little did I know, I would actually learn in the process about building cars and managing people would be so much more valuable.
How did the company come up with the name?
Our founder wanted from the beginning for Indi EV to be a place for independent-minded people that wanted to try and create something new. Independent, hence Indi EV.
What was your role in bringing this prototype to the market?
I have headed the design and development of the Indi One, as well as the development of our brand essence and look. Essentially, I’ve guided a small group of creatives towards a cohesive message. Being a start-up, you must wear many hats (I have found this to be no exaggeration). I was also responsible to guide our engineering team to the execution of that message. Sometimes I’d be sketching or modelling with the designers. Sometimes I’d be working on contract negotiations. And other days, I’d be sanding parts in the prototype shop. Never, ever bored!
Why did you opt for a futuristic design, as opposed to a more traditional design?
At the core, our Indi One is about the open-source computer. Its the heartbeat of the vehicle! Throughout this entire process, we really looked at this product as being more of a digital tool that is mobile than a traditional car. With that premise, the design was driven to a cleaner, less organic aesthetic. Every detail of the Indi One feels more as though it was derived from a digital component and not a piece of clay.
What separates this EV (electric vehicle) from others on the market?
Imagine everything that your home PC is capable of. Some people use their home computers for business productivity; some use them for creative applications: social content creation, video gaming, music creation, crypto mining… the list goes on and on.
Now combine that with various hardware additions: like cameras, microphones, AR, VR in an object that moves with you on outings, roundtrips and daily migrations. That is what the Indi One is all about.
To read the entire two-part conversation and learn more about this vehicle that takes photos and records video, click here.
Jeff Fortson is the host and executive producer of Auto Trends with JeffCars.com, the only multicultural syndicated automotive program airing throughout the U.S. and Canada. The 30-minute weekly show, which is in its sixth season, airs on SiriusXM 141 and a number of FM radio dials. The program consists of in-depth one-on-one conversations with many of today’s industry pioneers and influencers, ranging from the ‘Hidden Figure’ and Black female who responsible for using a mathematical formula to check the accuracy of the GPS (Global Positioning Sensor) to auto analysts to car designers to the trailblazers of LGBT auto advertising.
For upcoming shows, car reviews, car-buying tips, recall updates, and a car-payment calculator, visitJeffCars.com, his car-buying educational guide. Follow him on twitter@JeffCars.