Niels van Roij runs an award-winning and eponymous automotive design studio, which specializes in coachbuilding: designing and building completely custom made cars.
Niels van Roij Design focuses on car design for coachbuilding: the development of exceptional, hand-built cars based on existing chassis. Niels van Roij Design’s work responds to an ever-growing demand for automotive personalization and exclusivity, that comes from all over the world. Niels van Roij Design takes great pride in their reputation as an automotive design style centre of the highest proficiency, among the few able to carry out the entire cycle of creation and construction of an exclusive coachbuilt car. The car design studio is known for their Tesla-based shooting brake Model SB, Adventum Coupe made on Range Rover chassis, Silver Spectre Shooting Brake based on Rolls-Royce underpinnings and their recently unveiled Breadvan Hommage based on Italian V12 chassis.
Niels van Roij is also co-founder of Heritage Customs, a company that specializes in breeding the new Land Rover Defender. Heritage Customs creates unique vehicles on the Land Rover Defender, called Valiance by the company. Heritage Customs offers Architecture as a service: car architecture. Heritage Customs cars can feature one-off paints, custom rims, unique machined exterior and interior jewelry, Magic Metal (copper, rust, bronze, and other metals applied to a variety of surfaces), and custom-crafted custom interiors.
Niels van Roij designed, among other cars, a one-off Shooting Brake (exclusive estate car) based on the Tesla Model S. Unique design elements are the one-off paint with the colour of the owner’s company logo subtly incorporated, a green glove compartment and a specially handmade chrome frame around the windows: all design ideas coming from personal conversations with the owner.
Adventum Coupe was also designed by Van Roij: a Range Rover-based coupe conversion with a teak floor front to back, matching umbrellas and many more so-called easter eggs. Niels van Roij recently presented the provocative Breadvan Hommage, an ode to a radical 1962 sports car and also Silver Specter Shooting Brake designed on Rolls-Royce chassis. Niels van Roij is continuously working on bespoke cars based on top class sports cars and luxury cars.
The new design for the London Taxi, the London icon of car manufacturer Karsan, also came from Van Roij. For this, the Dutchman spoke to London Cabbies and incorporated special finds into the interior and exterior to give both drivers and passengers the experience of a lifetime. The project was designed around Inclusive Design principles, with extensive research being executed into the interaction between the passengers and the taxi. For example, workshops were conducted with disabled people, mothers with children, the blind and the elderly. Trends and innovation were of great importance for this project and improving the taxi through Inclusive Design was a continuous drive for Van Roij. The question: how to design a taxi – without stigmatizing certain target groups – that can be used by everyone – disabled or not.
In addition to his car design activities, Van Roij writes articles for the trade press and publishes on strategic automotive design. He is also a visiting tutor for various academies and universities worldwide. His work is exhibited internationally, including at the London Transport Museum and the Victoria & Albert Museum. Van Roij was part of the 10 Downing Street Design Summit with British Members Of Parliament and will give the Automotive Design Masterclass.
Car designer Niels van Roij discusses, on the basis of concrete examples from the car industry, how the sales of your organization can be boosted to great heights. With the right design strategy, sales can even be doubled!
Inclusive Design is used to achieve inclusiveness for all diversity in this world: the best products and services, from stairs to scissors. Without stigmatizing, how do you shape your improved service or product so that everyone – from the demented elderly to the disabled – become your customer?
People are irrational: design is the number one reason for purchasing a car worldwide. What can you learn from the automotive industry? Because why don’t people fall in love with their fridge or washing machine and with their car? Just a nice product or high-quality service is no longer good enough in the current, overcrowded market. How do you distinguish your product, service and organization from all others? What transformation is needed and how does Niels van Roij view your organization as a car designer?
Coachbuilding, the tailor-made design and construction of very exclusive cars, is synonymous with beautifully individually crafted works of art on wheels. Niels van Roij is accustomed to unusual requests to perfect cars to customer requirements through his studio and well versed in turning extreme ideas into reality. How do you ensure that your customer is really central?
Sometimes design is neuroscience. Because our personal connotations with products and services are very special and also locally defined. People see faces in the moon, on a tree and in objects. And we’d rather buy an expensive iPhone with a bad battery than a Nokia – why? And how do you transform your product or service before it’s too late?
A unique taxi was developed together with the disabled, mothers with babies, the blind, students and the elderly. Niels will inspire you by sharing unique design-thinking processes. It gives you tools with which you will immediately be able to identify concrete points for improvement to your product, service and organization – and implement them!
How do you make your organization future-proof and how does it stay that way? Think of how Paul Polman, as CEO for Unilever, initiated a turning point. Because profit maximization is no longer the magic word. And a great product or good service is anything but the road to a sustainable and relevant existence. Certainly not for young customers! How sustainable is your business model for both your revenue and the environment?
Success stories such as light as-a-service from Thomas Rauw and the shared car from Lynk & Co to the story of Autolib car-sharing that, despite 2,500 cars and 150,000 subscribers, failed completely… Is there a place for your organization in the sharing economy? is this movement also coming to your industry or its limitations? And does your product, organization or service for the sharing economy need a complete overhaul?