I’m new to Blender (came to it because I changed from Windows to Linux at home for my 3D printing projects) and I’m blown away how much functionality it offers and how clean it is programmed. (You can measure that by examining how well the different parts interact with each other and how consistent the UI is.)
I’m working in the Automotive Design industry for 25 years now and use Alias Autostudio as my main tool but also use VRED and sometimes Maya. All these tools cost a fortune and their code quality is questionable. The Auto industry is undergoing major changes currently and efficiency is one of the key words. They reducing clay modelling (costly) for example and drift more and more toward polygon modelling for the early phase of design. In this area, blender already has a massive amount of tools and would be very well suited.
On the way to production Class A models, NURBS are used as they provide the required surface quality.
Throughout the whole process all sorts of visualization is used as well and here Blender would be also already well equipped with the new Eevee renderer.
For NURBS one needs a couple of good programmers with the required mathematical skills. I followed the NURBS development of Alias since PowerAnimator 4.0 and in the early 2000s I had contact to Alias programmers regarding this functionality. It’s certainly not a trivial programming task but it is also a well defined area with lot’s of publications and it is best dealt with with a very small team. (Otherwise it ends up in a tool mess…)
What would be also necessary is translators for industry standard file formats but this should also not be a problem.
Procedural modelling is gaining more and more attention in this field (in the last two years many show cars appeared with surfaces both on the exterior and interior which were based on procedural modeling) and with Sverchok there is already a Blender tool for this.
I’m pretty sure: if there would be serious interest from the Blender creators to enter the Automotive market, they would be able to secure founding for that couple of programmers with ease. (Of course, one hast to find those programming masterminds first.) With proper NURBS and high precision modelling support, Blender would be a great tool for designing cars.
It would be mind blowing if we could use one tool for all of the tasks involved in car design instead of using different software from different vendors which are not playing very well with each other.
It’s a misconception that large software companies provide high quality software and quick development. In my experience in the last two decades, it is exactly the opposite. High maintenance costs paired with slow development is more what is happening. That is also the reason why I am so amazed by the work the Blender programmers did.
I don’t really know but I think the Blender creators don’t actually realize what a massive opportunity they could have in the car industry.
The cost pressure is immense nowadays and that puts a tremendous pressure on the IT and their software decisions. This have opened up the minds of these IT people and so they accept new players more easily if they can deliver for less.
(This is my private opinion, but I think I’m long enough in this business to have an overview.)