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Incorporating Customer Preferences and Market Trends in Vehicle Package Design

[+] Author Affiliations
Deepak Kumar, Chris Hoyle, Wei Chen, Frank S. Koppelman

Northwestern University, Evanston, IL

Nanxin Wang, Gianna Gomez-Levi

Ford Motor Company, Dearborn, MI

Paper No. DETC2007-35520, pp. 571-580; 10 pages
  • ASME 2007 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 6: 33rd Design Automation Conference, Parts A and B
  • Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, September 4–7, 2007
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division and Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4807-8 | eISBN: 0-7918-3806-4
  • Copyright © 2007 by ASME


Demand models play a critical role in enterprise-driven design by expressing revenues and costs as functions of product attributes. However, existing demand modeling approaches in the design literature do not sufficiently address the unique issues that arise when complex systems are being considered. Current approaches typically consider customer preferences for only quantitative product characteristics and do not offer a methodology to incorporate customer preference-data from multiple component/subsystem-specific surveys to make product-level design trade-offs. In this paper, we propose a hierarchical choice modeling approach that addresses the special needs of complex engineering systems. The approach incorporates the use of qualitative attributes and provides a framework for pooling data from multiple sources. Heterogeneity in the market and in customer-preferences is explicitly considered in the choice model to accurately reflect choice behavior. Ordered logistic regression is introduced to model survey-ratings and is shown to be free of the deficiencies associated with competing techniques, and a Nested Logit-based approach is proposed to estimate a system-level demand model by pooling data from multiple component/subsystem-specific surveys. The design of the automotive vehicle occupant package is used to demonstrate the proposed approach and the impact of both packaging design decisions and customer demographics upon vehicle choice are investigated. The focus of this paper is on demonstrating the demand (choice) modeling aspects of the approach rather than on the vehicle package design.

Copyright © 2007 by ASME
Topics: Design , Vehicles



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