11 November 2007

Car Meccanic

In a not-at-all cynical piece of marketing by the Proton motor company, plans were announced today for an Islamic car. Sadly for the faithful, the car is still only being talked about, but "special features" could include "a compass pointing to Mecca and a dedicated space to keep a copy of the Koran and a headscarf", according to the rather desperate-sounding press release.

Or, to put it another way, Sat Nav and a glove compartment. And with such imaginative development ideas, it would seem to be set to be a design classic. But it does raise some interesting questions. For a start, who will endorse its Islamic status? And, once granted, does this mean all other cars are infidels?

I can see the attraction from a manufacturer's point-of-view to corner such a market, but they'd need to be able to cater for the wide variety of prospective customers. The economy model would presumably be the Proton Taleban, with no stereo and a stopped clock. Further up the scale, there'd need to be Suni, Shiite and Sufi models as well, to ensure no-one is left out.

Presumably with the Palestinian model you'd get a free Roadmap.

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