When I was a teenager I lived in Japan, a small island with a lot of people crammed into one area called Tokyo. Space was at a premium. If there was an empty space between the studs in the wall that could be made into a drawer or cupboard it was done. It was done in an elegant way that complimented the room. Form, function and simple elegance.

Klaus Busse, Vice President Interior Design for Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram, Fiat USA at Chrysler Group LLC, talked to Lou Ann Hammond, CEO, Driving the Nation, about the elegant use of space in the center console. Chrysler changed to the full electronic gear shifting with a rotary shift knob which means they had extra space underneath the console – an empty space between the studs if you will.

Busse, and his group, also created an ingenious sliding cup holder that, with a click, opens access to a USB, aux-in and DC charger. With two clicks your cupholders go away. Place the wires for your smartphone/iPad in the bottom and through the pass-through to connect to the smartphone resting in the opening underneath the electronic gear shifter. Click again and the cupholders reappear.

Form, function and simple elegance.