Chinese Auto Frame by Gustavo H. G. Guerra, Brazil

2004: China.

Scale Model and Illustrations on Display at Michelin Challenge Design™


Anything that concerns about cars concerns about me! It’s what I think since a kid. I have always been curious about all the machines and mechanical systems functioning, and I tried to discover how they work. With the time passed, I understood many things about machines; they are complex, but all the mechanisms must respect some science rules. It made myself a little disappointed, because everything has been constructed by a technical view, and there were not mysteries, with study, anyone could make anything.

Then, I discovered one kind of machine, which involves all these technical requirements, but also has lots of mystery and fascination about its development: cars. I realized that cars are just like other machines, but they create on people some inexplicable feelings, making industries ever creating and putting technology forward to capture the client by the most important point, his heart.

With this, I decided to study Industrial Design (Project of Products), to create new things that make people’s life easier, but also charming their choice for a given product by a good and attractive aesthetic design. Among this universe of products, I choose to specialize myself on Transportation Design, to develop cars and all kind of transportation which could wake some kind of that feeling on people’s heart and mind.

To have met the Michelin Challenge Design was the collection of all the points I cited: to study to develop a new mechanical machine system, to make something that fascinates someone and to develop a good design that makes the world more pleasant and easy. So, it was a great pleasure to develop all by myself (of course, with help of some specialized professionals of each industry’s branch that I have studied), this car project which is a feasible and real proposal to solve the China’s current car market dispute, not just by its Design, but also because of all the innovations it brings to the cars’ manufacturing processes.


Looking at the theme of this Michelin Challenge Design, betting on China’s emerging automotive market, here is presented a proposal of a solution for the large production that must be applied to support the high demand of the Chinese automotive industry. This is the most populated market around the planet, and the car sales are been increased really quickly, but the infrastructure is not growing as fast as that, so is needed a car with an easy manufactured process, with a small configuration (to be in agreement with the Chinese cities), and a low cost for the public.

Awarded about the current conditions of the industrial market, it is been developed an automotive project of an external structure (like a cage), which eliminates the need of a chassis, propitiating constructive facilities. It is named as Chinese Auto Frame (CAF). It is a visible frame made with special aluminum forged bares, having a high degree of mechanical resistance, where the others modules of the body will be fastened. On this structure will also be fastened some mechanicals components as the engine and the suspensions, yonder some specials grooves points to fasten and/or screw the thermoplastic injected panels of the body, eliminating any welding operation during the whole assembly line of the body. With this solution, the car is predicted to be made between just one or two hours (against five or 12 hours with the conventional system), and because of the specified materials, the car is supposed to be 40% or 60% lighter than a car with the same dimensions, propitiating the use of a low waste engine.

This project is questing new concepts and manufacturing processes beside the traditional automotive industry, culminating to new methods of car’s assembly and the utilization of new materials for this branch of the industry, objectifying the production of a new urban minicar, with reduced dimensions, dynamism, low fuel waste and skill in the urban scenery, perfect for the current Chinese situation.