Would you buy a chair designed by Mazda? What about other furniture, gadgets, or apparel? Mazda’s global design boss, Ikuo Maeda, sure hopes so, and is giving a Mazda Design line a try, starting with a futuristic new metal and leather chair.
Merchandise lines and designer goods are part of a strategy typically associated with upscale brands. As a part of Mazda’s long term plan, the automaker hopes to make strides toward raising transaction prices, minimizing incentives, and boosting resale values. Creating a near-premium image with high-end materials, better interiors, flashy sheet metal, and must-have merchandise could help.
Porsche AG, for example, founded the Porsche Design Group to design, create, and sell an array of products – from $475 driving shoes to $900 puffy vests adorned with the Porsche logo.
As of now, Mazda has only created the one chair, called the Kodo chair – in reference to the automaker’s new, curvy design language. The chair is modern, sleek, and artsy, and is made of high-end metal and leather. The chair features four legs, and is reminiscent of the driver’s seat in a race car.
The Mazda chair was first exhibited at last year’s Salone Internazionale del Mobile, a leading global furniture fair in Milan. At that time Mazda released a statement saying, “Painstakingly crafted, there are distinct parallels between the chair and Mazda models with the Kodo design, such as the ready-to-pounce, forward-leaning stance conveying the sudden release of pent-up energy.”
Right now, there is no word on if a Mazda designer goods line will ever actually be launched, but Mazda is certainly feeling out its options. Maeda said he hopes to build more chairs to be sold, and then branch into other fashionable goods: “Not only furniture, but I’d like to build a Mazda Design brand. That’s my dream.”
Would you buy the Kodo chair? Tell us what you think in the comments!