A report via Mutopo:
“Local Motors wants to build C.O.O.L cars. They invite a large community or car enthusiasts to participate in the development of their car. But this is where the similarities with Powell Motors ends, because Local Motors decides to decide differently. While Homer was the decider with rather unfortunately results, Local Motors doesn’t let the community decide everything. The don’t leave them alone to figure things out and show up at the end to see the result.
Local Motors cleverly picks some things to do themselves (chasis design), some to leave to other manufacturers (door handles from a Miata, I think) and then they choose a few areas to get some help (body styling). And then for good measure they borrow some ideas from IKEA for assembly. The people who submit body designs are specialists, but the people giving feedback, encouragement and voting on their favorites are prospective customers.
Seeing the Rally Fighter now, it is easy to see what all the fuss is about. I stopped caring about cars sometime ago, but I want this one.
The Rally Fighter, well it is still too soon to say that this will be a commercial success, but it looks very encouraging.
Local Motors is using crowdsourcing – making very clear choices about where and how they want the crowd involved, how things are owned and they are discussing with the crowd as they go and experimenting to see what works (we love recursiveness almost as much as crowdsourcery). It sounds a lot like the process experiments that saw Linux depart from the traditional processes of its time, or the cleverly organized participation in WordPress or Mozilla as they go up against traditionally organized competitors.”