It’s no secret that cutthroat competition runs deep in the automotive industry. After all, every automaker has to one-up the other in an effort to garner brand loyalty from a fickle audience.
On many occasions, in the past, the marketing campaigns of major automakers have poked fun at – and even surreptitiously insulted – other manufacturers. Think back to the legendary BMW and Audi billboard wars – and who can forget the Mercedes-Benz and Jaguar commercials that included a chicken! Yes, this was all done in good humour. Very rarely do manufacturers lash out in a brutal fashion at one another. However, a heated battle raged recently between two major car designers on Facebook (of all places).
Bentley designer Luke Donckerwolke wasn’t very happy when he saw the new 2016 Lincoln Continental Concept prior to the New York Auto Show. Donckerwolke felt that the design was a direct rip-off of the Bentley Flying Spur. And while it’s not exactly a carbon copy, as claimed, what ensued was quite hilarious. The Bentley designer went on to post a comment on the Facebook page of Lincoln chief designer David Woodhouse. The comment read, “Do you want us to send the product tooling?” The post was immediately deleted, but it was already too late to prevent things from escalating further.
When Donckerwolke spoke to the media, he elaborated on his comment by saying, “This behaviour is not respectable. Building a copy like this is giving a bad name to the car design world.” On his own personal Facebook page, the designer said sarcastically, “I would have called it a Flying Spur concept and kept the four round lights.” Another famous professional designer added, “I thought this was only done in China? Finally a ‘Bentley for the masses’ though...”
It’s very rarely that we see this kind of mudslinging in the auto industry. Admittedly, though, the Belgian designer for Bentley pulled it off very well indeed. Let’s just say that he certainly got the world’s attention. There were, of course, no comebacks from Lincoln. Needless to say, the Continental concept received a lot of attention at this year’s New York Auto Show.