Concepts

Nissan Friend-Me Bows in China

With a clear focus on the Chinese youth market, Nissan unveils a concept with a strange name but with a sleek exterior and social media-interfacing interior.

Nissan’s new Friend-Me Concept, odd name aside, is actually something that has huge potential for the automaker, in China at least. Just revealed at the 2013 Shanghai Auto Show, the Friend-Me was designed specifically with Chinese youth in mind, specifically men in their mid-20s, as Nissan wants to grab a stake in a country with over 240 million potential buyers. Although it’s only a concept at this stage, the Friend-Me’s exterior is composed of flowing and sculpting lines that clearly indicate its youthful nature.

But it's the interior packaging where things get more interesting. With four individual seats, the center console stretches from the dash to between the rear seats and there are screens for each passenger that allows them to share mobile content with everyone else inside by uploading it from their smartphones. The networked interior space is all about high-tech social interaction for a generation of Chinese who grew up without siblings due to the country’s one-child policy. Instead of siblings, Chinese youth focus on interaction with friends - hence the concept’s name and social media focus.

Even the car’s dash readouts are available to all occupants and everyone has the power to choose their own music, instead of the driver being the "music dictator" (Nissan’s words). Whether it makes production or not, the Friend-Me Concept is certainly an intriguing mix of style and social media technology.

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