Talent in tandem with technology

The iPhone is a fantastic invention, but we can’t let technology stifle and frustrate future invention.

That was the crux of the message delivered by Charles Morgan, advisory board chairman of Alcraft Motor Company, who was speaking on day two of IBIS 2017, taking place at Melia Castilla, Madrid from 12-14 June.

Called ‘Craftmanship in the age of the iPhone’, his presentation sought to extol the virtues of traditional style and development despite the vast technological solutions available today.

Charles said, ‘You won’t get creativity and innovation from artificial intelligence or sitting in front of a computer screen. You’ll only get incremental improvements. So you can’t just forget the old when you are starting to go into the new.’

He explained how Morgan Motor Company, which has been developing handmade cars for more than a century, has managed to survive and thrive in the modern era by remaining true to its core values while also adopting and innovating new processes in production, construction and finish.

He said, ‘You cannot do things in the old way. It’s just impossible. You can always be informed and inspired by the past, but you must never just repeat it. You have to create something new and to do that you have to combine digital with craftmanship.

‘But with all this technology, we still need craftsmen and women. We still need craftsmanship and, inevitably, that comes from tradition. People love things beyond what they actually do.’

Charles also said that the colour, design and artwork of a vehicle should not be downplayed, that in fact consumers still placed a huge emphasis on the character of the vehicle and its ‘wow factor’. While it is obviously not a suitable solution in every case and for every manufacturer, he said signage was a massive trend within the industry and that amazing things could be done with the wrap to provide a competitive advantage.

He said, ‘Art and cars can be very powerful. So I believe talent can beat might. We’re all told that the big companies will take over. But they won’t. Talent can take on and beat the factories. I have a massive appreciation for engineering and engineers, but it’s about the story as much as engineering.’

Ibis 2017 wouldn’t be possible without the continued support of headline partners 3M, AkzoNobel, Audatex, Enterprise Rent-A-Car and Fix Auto World.