Car design is, today, a branch of industrial design, but when it was born, with the spread of the first automobiles, it was a purely artisan activity carried out in the workshops of body workers.
Designing takes place inside the Style Centres, large buildings, where it is possible to produce and test prototypes in total safety and in the utmost reserve.
Prior to realization and subsequent presentation at international shows, the car designer elaborates a "concept car"; it is in this conceptual phase, which precedes the production of the model, that all the necessary elements are evaluated: from the target to market research, comfort, environmental impact and resistance to habitability, without forgetting the contexts in which the car must move.
The Car designer uses the most advanced software for three-dimensional modelling and large-format model display.
Currently, Italy is still considered the home of automotive design because the world's greatest designers are all Italian - Bertone, Pininfarina, Donato Coco, Leonardo Fioravanti and Bruno Sacco, to name only a few.
As a research work by Giuseppe Calabrese for the Piedmont Region states:
"The designer, both outside and inside the company, can have access to all specialized functions within the company, such as research and development, marketing, production, finance, material testing, strategic management and business planning, but can also draw on the company's external reality, such as trend analysis in fashion and design or the use of new materials, machinery, production processes or trends in consumer behaviour and analysis of demand.