Stellantis is hosting its annual vehicle design contest, inviting students to provide their takes on futuristic Ram pickups.
The brand has organized the Drive for Design contest for 11 years with the goal of encouraging young talent to pursue a career in vehicle development. Competitors of the event’s previous iterations have gone on to become creative leaders in the industry, such as Mark Trostle, the winner of the 1987 competition, and current vice president of Ram and Mopar Design. “It is incredible to see our past winners come up through the design school ranks,” remarked Trostle in a press release, adding, “I even get to see some of them as interns or co-workers in our design studio.”
This year the competition focuses on electrification. Ram recently revealed its first electric pickup, the 1500 REV, which it expects to arrive in 2024. Participants in the design contest must live in the U.S. and be students in grades 10-12. The first prize winner will be offered an internship at the Ram Truck Exterior Design Studio, in addition to a Wacom MobileStudio Pro 16 tablet. Submissions must be sent to Stellantis before April 21.
While the design contest and similar programs have existed for decades, the latest comes at a time of renewed interest in automotive education. More professionals are leaving the industry than entering, a trend which could hamper the ambitions of both automakers and retailers should it worsen. Many brands are now partnering with teaching institutions to help grow the next generation of talent, but whether these efforts will fail or succeed in recruiting enough replacements remains to be seen.