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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In the last few weeks at CorkSport, we have been discussing ways that we can be quick to respond to our customers interests and design components that achieve the requests and requirements of our customers design tastes.

I have a few products that I'll be doing this with in the coming months, but I wanted to start with something that is simple and doesn’t have a whole lot of potential for scope creep so that I can test out the tools that we have implemented to use in the process of collaborating with our customers on the design process.

From my upcoming blog posts, you'll see that our long term goal is to not only involve our customers in the design process, but to encourage collaboration and put short run product development evaluation further into the hands of our customers as well. We basically want to involve you all in our start to finish product development process.

The tools we'll be using for this are pretty simple - we've got a web based ticketing software suite we're developing tailoring right now to allow feedback and comments as well as web based surveying capabilities that are robust and have good reporting and statistical features so that we can move beyond the simple 'one question many options' polling that is available on the php/vbulletin forums. We'll also be using eDrawings, a free 3D CAD reader to allow our customers to see our designs in 3D and comment directly using the design data.

So without further discussion, I'd like to start talking about our offset license plate bracket for the 2010 Mazda3/MS3. So far we have gone through three iterations of this product in house for machining quotes, etc. and this is what we have come up with:

Product Overview: License plate relocation bracket & frame utilizing the factory tow hook location on the 2010 MZ3/MS3.

Optional Configurations (tenative): Anodized Billet Aluminum Support Plate in USDM, JDM & European Spec Plate Sizes, all fully interchangeable and available separately for swapping out your plate at a car show or in the event that you need to go visit the magistrate to show your USDM plate.

Also a potential is the addition of an attractive billet tow hook that is interchangeable for the plate frame for track days, but that's just something we have kicked around.

Product Specifications (tenative): Featuring a cnc machined zinc plated thread in tow hook, black anodized billet aluminum plate bracket, interchangeable black anodized aluminum backing plate with security fasteners for the license plate and a 1/4 hex drive security bit.

Price Point: While we started with far more of an over-engineered bracket assembly that looked trick, we cut the design down to hit our $88 price point. Where our competitors use a welded steel assembly in these designs, ours is a three piece design allowing interchangeability of plate frames and a more refined finished machined look rather than a water jet cut and powdercoated appearance. We figure if you're going to rock the CS logo on the plate at a show, we want the design to stand on its own without a plate in tow. Pun intended.

So here are the design images as we've currently laid it out. Below the photos is a link to our primary survey for your to evaluate your thoughts on the design and giving ample opportunity for open ended discussion. Feel free to comment in this thread as well. I will be reporting back on the survey results at the beginning of next week and quoting peoples comments there as well to keep everyone on the same page.



And the survey for your comments, ideas and feedback is available here: QuestionPro Survey - CS 2010 Axela License Plate Mount

I would encourage you all to participate, as we want to get as good of a cross section of customer input as possible. We have a lot planned for this process and customer involvement and this is our first test run for the process of collaborating with our customers. I know this is a really simple product, but hope to hone the infrastructure to the point where we can do this with all of our products.

Thanks again for all of your help,


Jason Griffith
CorkSport Mazda Performance
 

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gonna do the survey now, but i think it's super cool how you're giving us the option of swapping around plates! never seen that before.

that said, is there a particular reason the attachment is in the corner?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It's pretty arbitrary right now as for a connection point. It's a parametric model so I can just shift it around and all of the parts update for hole locations, etc. I suppose that's another major discussion to have is how to align the plate relative to the rest of the car. Our goal is to keep it away from the grill and kick it out to the drivers side, keeping it under the headlight (which is roughly the alignment shown in those model shots).

Jason
 

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ahhh, i see it now... i was trying to picture how it would look on the car. man, you can do so much with this design! i'm really liking the versatility.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yeah, it's like the swiss army knife of your MZ3. Here's a pic of the tow hook (for scale, that's an adorable little 30mm T-Bolt clamp):



Or you could go all bosozoku and put an oil cooler bracket on it:



Or bolt up your favorite Hello Kitty w/ Kalishnikov plush toy:



Thanks for the comments, keep 'em coming.

Jason
 

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Rho-Plate has a towhook mount that offers multiple mounting locations. $70 shipped.





I don't know, even for me $88 is pretty stiff (cp-e's towhook bracket price as well). I'm not sure how many bells and whistles I'd like on a tow hook bracket (just something solid and won't scratch bumper are my primary requirements), but somewhere in the $70 price range would work.



Now, a retractable (non motorized) license plate custom designed for this car that didn't require cutting or drilling... I'd likely spend up to $120 for.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yea, if there was any way you could get someone to photoshop an images of where the plate would be, it would be nice.
Here's a shot of it in the location we were shooting for on our MS3 Bumper (attached) as well as a photo of the reason why the MS3 bumper is off the car...AutoExe Bumper got installed last week.

Jason
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
We could do that for $70 if a single bolt attaching to the plate mounting bracket was acceptable or if a piece of sheet metal was acceptable for that matter. Ours is 1/4" thick threaded aluminum...no nuts necessary on the plate to protrude and scratch the car. We could do a single bolt version of pre-adjusted design for $70 if we used sheet metal. We were shooting for something a little more refined...which costs more by far...but if that's what people want, this is why we're asking!

Jason
 

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Well that's the first time I've seen the AutoExe bumper on an MS3 in a picture. Is your FMIC on the car as well? Looks cool to me, despite M3R's general reaction to it.

Yeah, personally, the tow hook bracket is kind of like a weaker punch to the arm than using the dealer bracket. If it were my way, I'd prefer to not have to have anything mounted to the front. I have limits for vanity car expenses :)

Threaded aluminum plate is what I envisioned a properly designed tow plate should have, but I wasn't aware of how much extra cost that factored in. Reminded me the days of R/C racing and having full aluminum or graphite chassis both threaded and countersunk.

Ease of removal would definitely appeal to those who track their cars and need to swap to an actual tow hook for racing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
That car has the brackets for the FMIC but we pulled it off to get the bumper fit. It's going to be a mix and match load of fun to finish the development of that FMIC. Pull bumper, install FMIC, install factory bumper to test fit, remove factory bumper, install autoexe bumper to test fit. Be done. Yay.

As for the tow hook bracket, I need to find out what other people think. We could also laser the plate and potentially get the cost down a bit. Machining the logo as a pocket into the part eats up machine time and depending on whether we do it as a second op after anodizing adds cost also. The other issue with sheet metal is having to put those golf ball divots in it to clear the head of the fastener off of the plate that sits on top of it. With the aluminum plate, I can use countersunk fasteners.

Jason
 

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would love to have one!
 

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88 bucks is not alot, I would rather pay a little bit more to have a product that is made for the vehicle, looks nicer, and wnt wobble all over the place every time i hit a bump. Plus with all the anodizing that Corksport does they might be able to get some custom colors for the plate as well. As for the desig I think i would rather have something a bit differant then what the other companies are doing. like maybe have the plate a bit longer with a bend right after the mount so that it moves the plate more to the drivers side. Also with the flat spot this would create would be a nice spot for a large Corksport logo. Like this handy dandy one i drew up real quick then took a picture of cause my scanner is a peice of crap.

 

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I only have 1 bitch about my RHO Plate holder (as seen above with my awesome Christmas lights up in summer lol)

If you hiti t while washing the car or somethign and it pivots down. When you move it back up to straighten it back out. It feels loose (and taking the plate off is a pain in the ass)

If there was a fixed 2 holes to prevent teh pivoting once on would be great.

(im not sure if I explained that well enough.)


If there was a giant CS logo on it I personally wouldn't buy it. Nothing against the name but it would throw the clean look off.
 

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If there was a giant CS logo on it I personally wouldn't buy it. Nothing against the name but it would throw the clean look off.
i see many people don't even appreciate the logos of the car itself, let alone one of a parts supplier. everyone wants that 'ninja' look. i reckon name isn't important and it's not to be rude...just preference. i am fine with just a regular holder...no CS logo.
 

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I dont have an issue with the OEM badges. The chrome plastic looks good with bright red :)

I have an axela badge sitting in my desk I just dont have the will power to put it on.
 

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Just filled out the survey, Jason, you are definitely throwing your weight around in here, showing us what to look for in an aftermarket dealer. Keep up the good work, and great customer service!
 
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