AI captures the “spirits” of popular car brands

A Swiss car leasing fintech has tasked ChatGPT and Midjourney with imagining popular car brands like Tesla and Volkswagen as anthropomorphic animals.

In a marketing campaign that went viral on LinkedIn, Zurich-based car leasing fintech used two of the most popular AI platforms to see how they “perceive” some of the leading marques in the automotive industry.

“We used Chat-GPT4 and Midjourney to render the perception of Switzerland's favorite car brands’ spirits,” Leo Chevailler, the co-founder of the company said on LinkedIn, where his posts with popular marques as animals were liked tens of thousands of times.

Many of the comments expressed approval of the artistic endeavour, with Volkswagen Group commenting: “Hit the nail on the head!”

It appears the German car-maker was appreciative of AI imagining Volkswagen, or VW, its most popular brand, as a trustworthy-looking labrador-next-door that was supposed to convey “reliability, versatility, friendliness.”

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Škoda, another top-selling car brand under the Volkswagen Group umbrella, was portrayed as a working-class beaver indicating "practical engineering, reliable value, simplicity."

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Meanwhile, BMW was depicted as an ultra-butch eagle boss to denote “precision, focus, excellence.”

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Tesla was depicted as a cheetah with glaring red eyes and a matching suit that should express the electric car maker’s “innovation, speed, visionary spirit.”

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Some commenters noted the gender imbalance in the AI-generated visualisations, with the first batch of 10 pictures shared online showing characters that are exclusively male, or at least male-presenting.

The second batch released later did better, with a very feminine Citroën swan relaying “creativity, comfort, French elegance.”

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The “spirit” of Renault, another quintessentially French brand, is depicted as a rooster in a chic jacket and skirt combo, and seems to have breasts. It is intended to represent the carmaker’s “French identity, versatility, creativity.”


Here are some of the other AI-generated renderings and you can see more here.

Volvo's polar bear expressing "safety, robust engineering, environmental consciousness." Image by
Toyota's tortoise representing "reliability, quality, environmental stewardship." Image by
Peugeot's peacock denoting "elegance, confidence, heritage." Image by
Ford's bull expressing "strength, reliability, American spirit." Image by

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