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People Cars Project

Proximity Shanghai

Volkwagen and Proximity China needed to re-position the iconic auto brand as the most innovative in China. So they turned to the most innovative source they could find: the Chinese people.

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  • Challenge

    Volkswagen's perception as an innovative brand in China had slipped. Not only was this an opportunity to re-position Volkswagen as the most innovative auto brand in China, but enable a deep, direct, long-term dialog with the people of China.

  • Solution

    The result was The People’s Car Project: an open-innovation initiative that has re-imagined how cars are designed, developed and marketed. Through a first-of-its-kind online dialog platform with interactive 3-D tools, gamification, and integration with all major social networks, Proximity China started building cars with the people. The people of China actively participated to the creation and design of future cars, with contributions ranging from design elements to environmental applications.

    The best ideas were evaluated by Volkswagen engineers and designers to eventually help co-create the next People’s Car. The people’s ideas offered Volkswagen real, vibrant and free-form insight into how they view their world, informed future design decisions, and gave the people a direct di

  • Results

    At its core, the PCP was a socially enabled insight creator. The People’s Car Project engaged over 30 million people and generated 265,000 ideas – creating a media value of over $26M. VW became the most talked about automotive brand online and in social media surpassing BMW, Mini, and Mercedes. People involved in the program were 2.1X more likely to purchase a VW.