In a competitive automotive market, design plays a crucial role in setting a brand apart from its competitors. Klaus Zyciora, the Vice President of Design at Changan Automobile, is at the forefront of this evolution, overseeing the creative direction and aesthetic appeal of the brand's vehicles. I had the privilege of sitting down with Klaus to discuss his approach to design, the challenges he faces, and the future of car design at Changan.

Background and Career Journey

Klaus Zyciora's design journey began at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna, where he studied Industrial Design. After graduating, he joined Volkswagen Group, where he held various design leadership positions, working on a wide range of projects including the iconic Beetle and the innovative XL1. His extensive experience and passion for automotive design eventually led him to Changan, one of China's leading automotive manufacturers, where he took on the role of Vice President of Design.

Design Philosophy and Approach

When asked about his design philosophy, Klaus emphasized the importance of balancing innovation and practicality. He believes that design should not only be visually striking but also functional and user-friendly. He described his approach as a combination of traditional automotive design principles with a forward-thinking, futuristic touch. Klaus stressed the need to understand the cultural and aesthetic preferences of Changan's target market, while also staying ahead of design trends to appeal to the next generation of car buyers.

Design Challenges

Designing cars for a global market presents unique challenges, particularly when it comes to accommodating diverse preferences and regulations. Klaus shared that one of the biggest challenges he faces is creating designs that resonate with customers in different regions, without compromising the brand's identity. He highlighted the need for adaptable design solutions that can be tailored to specific markets while maintaining a cohesive brand image.

Another challenge he mentioned was the rapid advancement of technology and its integration into car design. As the automotive industry shifts towards electric and autonomous vehicles, Klaus emphasized the importance of incorporating these new technologies seamlessly into the design without sacrificing aesthetics or function.

Design Innovation and Future Vision

When discussing the future of car design at Changan, Klaus expressed his enthusiasm for the brand's upcoming projects. He revealed that Changan is heavily investing in electric and autonomous vehicle technology, with a vision to revolutionize the driving experience. He emphasized the potential for design to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of mobility, stating that Changan's design team is focused on creating vehicles that are not only sustainable but also visually captivating.

Klaus also highlighted the role of sustainable and eco-friendly materials in car design, emphasizing the importance of integrating these elements into Changan's future vehicles. He emphasized the brand's commitment to environmentally conscious design practices and the use of innovative materials to reduce the environmental impact of their vehicles.

Design Collaboration and Team Dynamics

As a leader in design, Klaus emphasized the importance of collaboration and teamwork within the design department. He emphasized the need for open communication and the exchange of ideas to foster creativity and innovation. Klaus also stressed the significance of nurturing young talent and providing them with opportunities for growth and development within the design team.


In the highly competitive automotive industry, design is a key differentiator for brands looking to stand out in the market. Klaus Zyciora's visionary approach to car design at Changan reflects his commitment to innovation, functionality, and sustainability. His leadership and creative vision are shaping the future of car design at Changan, and his dedication to pushing the boundaries of automotive design will undoubtedly continue to inspire the industry for years to come.

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