Suzuki Alto Lapin

New Suzuki Alto Lapin Launch: A round design on the advice of female developers on “a need to experiment”.

Suzuki’s new light motor vehicle “Alto Lapin”, unveiled on June 3, has the same box-type style as its predecessors but is characterized by its roundish design.

Chief engineer Yasuhiro Kawamura reveals that like most men, he likes cars with sharp designs. “I thought we needed to retain the square design that only Lapin has, and that we should continue to push its key concept.”

But for the all-new Lapin, women’s opinions had been introduced for a curvy shape. “Female developers took part from the planning stage and also joined our discussions for making various decisions during development,” Kawamura explained.

As the main targets for the Lapin are females in their 20s and 30s, it’s only natural that women’s opinions would be incorporated. But Kawamura reflects that there had been occasions where ideas had not matched perfectly between the men and women, with the men suggesting going only so far, whereas the women would push for more curves.

“The conclusion had been that we were targeting were women in their 20s and 30s, and that’s where our focus should be. Because we’d already developed a characteristic design with the Hustler and the all-new Alto, there was a need to be daring with the Lapin, so we made big changes,” Kawamura said.

“The toughest part of the development process had been checking for any gaps in concepts from us males,” the Suzuki chief engineer admits. “But I think we were able to achieve this level of completion because we really listened to what the women had to say.”

(Translated by Eriko Sugita)