There’s no award for recognizing that the current quality and design of vehicle interiors for luxury brands like Mercedes Benz and BMW, traditional stalwarts of the industry, aren’t up to the reputation that their names once commanded. It’s not so much that the quality has deteriorated but more of a case that mainstream makes have started to catch up.

This is a fact that the parent company of Mercedes Benz, Daimler AG, is well aware of. To change the trend, the German giant is planning two key moves to realign its design organization. The first is to create a new ‘center of excellence’ for vehicle interiors and the second is to open a design studio in China.

Speaking with Automotive News, Daimler design chief Gorden Wagener explained that the center of excellence is not something tangible but rather a symbol for “far-reaching change”. The new goal is to place a significantly greater emphasis on fashion and luxury than in the past.

This new design ethos will also affect the look of graphics on the on-board computer, menu design and overall operating logic, as well as conventional features such as the seats, headliners, and instrument panels. Additionally, designers will look to the world of fashion for their inspiration as well as open a new design studio in China.