This year, the $400 billion car industry is trying to catch shoppers' eyes with looks that are creative head-turners, according to the Wall Street Journal
From Toyota to Rolls-Royce, which is undergoing its first big design change in three decades, makers are trying to stem falling sales with weird angles ("the apple-crate look") and offbeat combinations ("it's a convertible -- and a truck"), the Journal
"If it seems like everybody's going out of their way to make odd-looking cars, that's because they are," the Journal
After a decade of the same big SUVs and jellybean-shaped sedans, overall U.S. auto sales fell 1.8 percent last year and are down even more so far this year, according to the Journal
. So analysts say the industry is searching for a new look -- or many of them -- for the years to come.
Until some winners emerge, buyers may be looking at a sector in transition, the Journal
said. Makers are "thrashing about for a design that's going to stick," says Bryon Fitzpatrick, chairman of transportation design at Detroit's College for Creative Studies.