Originally Posted by Andre Yew
I have no empirical evidence to back this up, but my personal feeling is that I find it incredulous that people at the top of their profession (as the designers at Pininfarina must be) are unaware of what other major players in their industry are doing. That would show an astounding lack of curiousity, which seems antithetical to the creative professions.
I have a friend who is a designer at Ford, and the stories she tells are sickening. There is a large contingent of designers who refuse to modernize and do everything sans computer. I can understand designing freehand, but they are so stubborn, they won't even turn on their computer that sits on their desk to check their corporate email (think about how long ago your company stopped sending printed memos or printed anything). They are so far stuck in the past it hurts.
How this ties in to your gut feeling is that to do any sort of competitive analysis on an ongoing basis, you need to be online. Going to every auto show around the world was never an option, and a significant amount of design related resources have moved exclusively online.