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General Motors taps Europe design chief to run Cadillac, Buick

Mon, 18 Jun 2012

General Motors is bringing Opel's design chief to the United States to lead Cadillac and Buick styling and is moving the head of Buick and GMC styling to the top design post in Europe.

The automaker is also shuffling duties for two other top design executives. The changes were announced Monday.

Mark Adams is the new global design director for Cadillac and Buick. He will be based at GM's design operations in suburban Detroit.

GM has relied heavily on groundwork laid by its Opel group in Europe as it makes over its Cadillac, Buick and Chevrolet vehicles.

Adams will be replaced in Europe by David Lyon, who has been overseeing designs for Buick and GMC and GM's North American interiors.

GM is in the midst of restructuring Opel after years of financial losses. It has put vice chairman Steve Girsky in charge of that effort and plans to close at least one assembly plant in Germany.

Other changes are:

-- Ken Parkinson becomes executive director for global Chevrolet and GMC designs. He had been in charge of exteriors for North America.

-- Clay Dean becomes director of global advanced design. He had been in charge of Cadillac and advanced designs for North America.

GM noted that five other design executives are keeping their current duties:

-- Bryan Nesbitt, credited with designing the Chrysler PT Cruiser and Chevrolet HHR, remains vice president of General Motors International Operations design.

-- Mike Simcoe is executive director GM International Operations Design.

-- Carlos Barba is executive director GM South America design.

-- Teckla Rhoads is director Global Design Operations.

-- Mark Leavy is executive director of Global Design Operations.

All nine executives report to GM design chief Ed Welburn.

In a statement, Welburn said, “This new structure provides a foundation to build and grow the design language for each of our brands moving forward.”

By David Arnouts