American Iron & Steel Institute's Wheels Task Force has sponsored a steel wheel styling competition during the winter term that was integrated into the regular computer design curriculum at CCS. A group of junior transportation design students undertook the challenge and recently unveiled their outstanding work. The project was based on General Motors Corporation, Ford Motor Company and Chrysler LLC brand themes. Before an audience of top OEM, steel, and wheel designers, the CCS automotive design students unveiled their renderings of bold new steel wheel designs that stretch the current limits of styling technology. Steel wheel designs from students Mr Romain Diboine, Mr Adam Hubers and Mr James Scott captured the top three spots in meeting the wheels criteria of styling, functionality and marketability.
Mr Brian Clauw senior project engineer at Wheels & Wheel Trim, General Motors Corporation said that "Visual appeal can captivate a consumer. Styled steel wheels, whether a base model or an up level model, can be the final touch that adds definition and appeal to a car. Developing new styled steel wheels that increase the market appeal of steel wheels to consumers and carmakers is the goal." He added that "The AISI CCS Wheel Design project offered the ideal opportunity to challenge the talented students in the CCS transportation design program with a real-world design situation. This project utilized industry experts to teach the students about wheel requirements while tapping the creativity of the student designers."
First place winner Mr Romain Diboine said that "Cars are a reflection of style. A simple redesign of the wheel package has the ability to make even a luxury car more desirable." The AISI CCS steel wheel design project is now included in the normal CCS curriculum and each year presents the student designers with a rare opportunity to influence the growing styled steel wheel market in the automotive industry. The CCS wheels project highlighted the significant gains steel wheels can deliver to automakers through styling, higher profit margins, lower warranty costs, competitive weight and ruggedness.