If you don’t believe it, take a page from the wildly successful animation studio Pixar. In preparation for making the movie Cars, the Pixar crew followed car historian Michael Wallis on — what else? — a road trip to Detroit by way of Route 66.
In the Motor City, director John Lasseter and his team hit the major automakers’ design studios, where Lasseter bonded with J Mays, Ford Motor Co.’s vice president for design, who’s best known for reinventing classics including the Volkswagen New Beetle and the 2005 Ford Mustang.
Mays had admired the cars in Pixar’s movie The Incredibles because they showed an appreciation for car history and design.
In visiting each others’ studios, Lasseter learned more about making cars and Mays grooved on Pixar’s obsession with detail. Example: Pixar’s cars share a common “chassis” but each has a custom suspension, allowing the 1950s vehicles to hang looser and bouncier.
For Cars, Pixar pulled off more detail than ever because its computers were four times as fast as the ones used for The Incredibles and a thousand times as fast as those used in Toy Story.
The point: At some level, customers can tell the difference between good and great quality, based on how much you sweat the details.
-- Adapted from “Pixar’s ‘Cars’ Got Its Kicks on Route 66,” Phil Patton, The New York Times.
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