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The Chrome Trunk Strip Has Taken Over Car Design

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author photo by Doug DeMuro August 2017

Good people of Oversteer, I think the day has come where we must concede that the entirety of automotive design has now been taken over by the chrome trunk strip. I'm serious. If you look at virtually every modern car, what you will discover is they all have different front ends, and different sides, and different wheels, and different interiors, and then they all have the chrome trunk strip. Every single car.

I noticed this fad recently when I was driving on the highway behind three vehicles in three separate lanes going about the same speed. I looked at each of the vehicles, all created by different automakers, and they had one major thing in common: the chrome trunk strip. And then I started really looking for it, and now I see it everywhere. You can't un-see it. It's like one of those eye puzzle drawings where it looks like a bird but then someone tells you it's also a forklift and you then can never see the bird again without seeing the forklift.

Interestingly, it isn't limited to one vehicle class -- though I do see it show up more on "mainstream" cars than luxury models. But it's on sedans, it's on coupes, it's on compacts, it's on full-size cars, it's on SUVs and crossovers and minivans. The chrome strip is more common, at this point, than "Call Me Maybe" was during its heyday.

My question is: Why has this happened? Why have automakers decided the chrome trunk strip is a necessary accessory in vehicle design? Was this a collective decision? Was the chrome strip company giving out massive discounts, and automakers said, "Well, this is better than adding more sheetmetal!"?

Either way, the chrome strip appears to be here, and I suspect it'll be here for quite some time. The car in the image above is just one example -- but the next time you drive around, take note of all the chrome strips. You'll be surprised to find the roads are invaded by the chrome strips.

Doug DeMuro is an automotive journalist who has written for many online and magazine publications. He once owned a Nissan Cube and a Ferrari 360 Modena. At the same time.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
The Chrome Trunk Strip Has Taken Over Car Design - Autotrader