What’s in a name? For automakers, the more relevant question might be what isn’t! A nameplate, after all, is the critical ‘first contact’ customers experience with a new model - even before it hits showrooms.

Often that name comes steeped in a rich history that immediately evokes a positive emotional connection. Think, for example, Viper or Challenger or the Chrysler 300 Ruyi design concept unveiled in Beijing last month.

Okay, that last one may not be a nameplate immediately recognizable here in North America, but throughout Chinese culture, the ancient Chinese Ruyi symbol of a ceremonial scepter is widely associated with feelings of pleasure, happiness and wishes fulfilled.

When the Chrysler brand announced earlier that it was returning to the Chinese market after an absence of three years, the Chrysler design team began envisioning how to bring the iconic symbol’s emotional character to life in the 300 Ruyi design concept.

Color and Materials designer Yi-hui Wen interpreted the Ruyi symbol throughout the interior elements of the Chrysler 300 Ruyi design concept.
In the interview below, she talks about how the team put their creative heads and, in some cases, their heritage into high gear to prove to an emerging set of ‘driven’ customers that the Chrysler brand “gets it.”