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Welburn inspires GM's evolving style
Automotive News
By Mike Colias
January 5, 2015

Ed Welburn is approaching a milestone: March marks his 10th year as General Motors' first global design chief. He was named to that newly created post in 2005, two years after becoming vice president of GM Design North America, the sixth design chief in GM's history.

Welburn, 64, is as busy as ever. His design studios in Warren, Mich., are humming -- he's looking to add to his 900-employee staff there (he directs 2,600 globally). He counts among his most significant achievements the integration of 10 global design centers, from Germany to Brazil to Australia. He tries to strike a harmonious balance between competition and collaboration among the far-flung studios.

What's the general direction for Chevy?
What really works for Chevrolet is that it always feels more expensive than it actually is. The face needs to be a significant part of that. As you see the face evolve, it feels more upscale, more premium. Not in a stuffy, formal sort of way, but it has a feeling of more content.

Does new Cadillac president Johan de Nysschen like what he sees when he walks through Cadillac's design center?
I really like the time I've spent with Johan. He spends a lot of time with the studio team and our executive director for Cadillac, Andrew Smith. He really knows cars. It's cool to talk to him about what we're doing -- beyond the design language, but more on what vehicles will be in the portfolio.

What are you most looking forward to?
There is some really cool stuff in the Buick design studio right now. I don't forget the work going on with Wuling and Baojun brands in China. They really are working fast and developing as brands. They have their own separate studios in Baojun, but we have some personnel in those studios and give guidance on the work. That brand has been growing so fast, you don't want to do anything to slow them down.

*Full Article at Link
 

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Some would say Ed is losing his mojo. I think he still has it in him to push attractive design at GM.
 
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Its funny to see questions about colleagues like Mr.Johan de Nysschen. He is always going to have high praise for folks he works with, even if he would like to have machine gun Kerry shoot them in the head.
He would not be where he is if he did not carry water for his colleagues in public.
 

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My real question is : companies like Mazda, Kia, Hyundai are having products with with good modern designs where Chevy , buick, GMC Cadillac stilll banks on OLD school designs. Wondering when they really plan to push some good designs than copy. Wondering GM is really missing a theme for the brands ex: "KODO: Soul of motion of Mazda", "Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 of Hyundai", “Tiger nose design theme of Kia"
 

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Um, Ed, have you seen recent Chevrolets?
I think the Chevy's generally do look upscale from the front end (excluding Spark and Sonic), it's when you round the corner to the back where they fall apart. I like the front end of the Malibu and it does look classy to me. The sides and especially the back loose it for me....

Mr. Welburn sidesteps a lot of questions, I'd like to have a real answer to what Johan de Nysschen thinks of Cadillac's styling. I also would've like to have heard what designs he is most proud of. But overall an interesting read.

I wonder who his replacement will be as he is approaching retirement age.
 

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I think the Chevy's generally do look upscale from the front end (excluding Spark and Sonic), it's when you round the corner to the back where they fall apart. I like the front end of the Malibu and it does look classy to me. The sides and especially the back loose it for me....

Mr. Welburn sidesteps a lot of questions, I'd like to have a real answer to what Johan de Nysschen thinks of Cadillac's styling. I also would've like to have heard what designs he is most proud of. But overall an interesting read.

I wonder who his replacement will be as he is approaching retirement age.
The real problem, IMO, is that Chevy hasn't found a brand design language that works on all vehicle. I'm not a huge proponent of corporate design languages, but it seems to be a trend in the industry today. I really like the Traverse's original face. It was edgy and classy at the same time.



The rear ends of Chevy vehicles need some help too. Simpler, straight tail lights would really do wonders.
 

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I hate the brand design language mentality forcefully plastered to the whole lineup. Most, if not all, designs do not translate well from a subcompact to a large sedan, to a truck, or an SUV. Why not just aim to make your vehicles look good instead of forcing something in there that does not look good go the naked eye?
 
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