Volkswagen has announced a unique project to solicit ideas for a new type of vehicle.

The 'People's Car Project', revealed May 20, gives Chinese consumers the opportunity to submit their ideas of what they want from a new car model to be offered in the country by the German brand, one of the world's largest automakers.

The program, which lasts for a year, invites budding vehicle designers to log onto to submit ideas for the Volkswagen model of the future.

Once submitted, the ideas can be discussed and developed further by other users, with the addition of images and film to facilitate the process, described as "mass manufacturing."

The website also contains areas for contributors to seek inspiration, as well as competitions where votes can be cast for the best designs, for which prizes are awarded.

"Volkswagen has set out to create the most innovative dialog platform ever with the 'People’s Car Project'," said Volkwagen's Luca de Meo.

"With PCP we are listening very carefully to what our customers have to say and are building cars not only for, but also with people."

It's an interesting idea from the German automaker, which says that although China was selected as the first market because it's the largest, the concept could launch in other regions.

It probably doesn't hurt that kicking off the exercise in a country that boasts 450 million internet users will give the company a valuable insight into the mindset of what is now the world's largest auto market.

Whatever car Volkswagen ends up with at the end of the process, it's likely to be a strong contender for the title of "People's Car," - a title currently used by Tata for its low-cost Nano supermini. (in Chinese)

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