GM Promotes Head of Holden Design to Lead North American Design

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by TriShield, Jul 6, 2004.

  1. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    [​IMG]
    Michael Simcoe led design for the Holden Commodore, Statesman and Monaro.

    By DAVE GUILFORD | Automotive News
    (08:01 July 06, 2004)

    DETROIT - Michael Simcoe, an Australian who heads General Motors' Asian design, will lead design of GM's North American cars effective Aug. 1.

    It shows GM's increasing effort to move rising designers around the globe to gain an international perspective.

    The move is one of three design leadership changes, a GM spokesman said:

    1. Simcoe, 47, will replace Bryan Nesbitt as executive director for unibody vehicles in North America. Simcoe has been executive director for Asia Pacific design since Sept. 1. Simcoe rose in the design ranks of GM's Australian subsidiary, Holden Ltd., becoming design director in 2001. Designs he was responsible for include the Holden Monaro and the Pontiac GTO.

    2. David Lyon, 35, will replace Simcoe as head of Asia Pacific design. He is executive director for design of body-on-frame vehicles in North America, a post he took Jan. 1. Previously, he was design director for the truck interior studio and chief designer of the upcoming Buick LaCrosse, Centieme and Bengal concept cars.

    3. Ken Parkinson, 41, will replace Lyon as executive director for body-on-frame vehicles in North America.

    He is director of design for small and mid-sized truck interiors, a post he took June 1. Previously, he was design director for Delta small cars and Epsilon mid-sized cars and spent three years on assignment in Japan.

    The changes were triggered by Nesbitt's departure to head Adam Opel AG design in April.

    Shortly after Nesbitt moved to Opel, Vice Chairman Robert Lutz said that broadening the global experience of designers would be a priority in picking his replacement.

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    Monaro designer says US style changes are no improvement

    By Toby Hagon
    The Age
    Thursday June 27 2002

    Holden's chief designer, Mike Simcoe, has distanced himself from the styling of the US-bound Monaro, which goes on sale in America next year as the Pontiac GTO.

    Despite overseeing the Pontiac's styling - Simcoe still prefers his original Holden design to the GTO with its bold twin-nostril nose or the wing-clad HSV Coupe variants.

    "We designed the car that we're producing right now and any iteration beyond that is, in my mind, not as good as the original," said Simcoe.

    Despite his preferences, Simcoe added that the GTO suited the Pontiac image and would fit in with future models from the marque. "The performance of the car will be the thing that sells it," he said last week at Holden's announcement that the export deal had finally been signed.

    The two-door Commodore, which resurrected a 30-year-old classic and has been an image leader for Holden since going on sale last December, will be displayed at next year's Detroit Motor Show before rolling off the company's South Australian production line in September next year.

    Speaking from GM's head office in Detroit last week, Holden chairman and managing director Peter Hanenberger said: "We all win from having an industry promoted overseas. Holden has been handed a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and we will look at it as a platform for further growth."

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    Uncle Sam wants the Monaro Man...

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    By Joshua Dowling
    The Sydney Morning Herald
    Friday January 10 2003

    Holden's chief designer Michael Simcoe, who penned the Monaro, has become hot property in the GM world, attracting top job offers within the company. But Holden has fought hard to retain him.

    When GM approached Simcoe (pictured) about a senior assignment in the US, Holden chairman and managing director Peter Hanenberger stepped in and requested Simcoe be allowed to stay to complete the all-new 2006 Commodore.

    Holden executives would not comment on the assignment but Simcoe told Drive "there were some discussions".

    Detroit is familiar territory for Simcoe, who worked in Cadillac's advanced design studio from 1990 to 1992. "It's good experience and I would consider something if it came up further down the track," he said, "but I have a family now and things are different."

    According to industry analysts, Simcoe's stocks in the design world increased with the unveiling of the Pontiac GTO at the Los Angeles and Detroit shows this week.

    General Motors product supremo Bob Lutz invited Simcoe on stage after the LA unveiling in recognition of his achievement.

    According to Jaguar's chief designer, Ian Callum - who worked with the Australian at Holden Special Vehicles - Simcoe is already well regarded internationally. "If we had more people with Simcoe's talent, we wouldn't have some of the strange things we have today," Callum told Drive.

    "I know Mike, I know Holden and I know the car, and I'm really quite chuffed for him. He deserves the credit."
     
  2. coronet

    coronet Do Andriods Dream of Electric Sheep?

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    We'll see how it turns out.
     
  3. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    He'd probably oversee it.
     
  4. KeeperOfAcheron

    KeeperOfAcheron I dub thee Sir Phobos, Knight of Mars, beater of a

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    I think and hope it was a good move on GM's part. [​IMG]
     
  5. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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  6. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    Simcoe's first Chevrolet truck concept.
     
  7. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    Designer: VE Commodore is revolutionary

    [​IMG]

    Jaedene Hudson
    09jul04

    Leading Australian car designer Mike Simcoe has given the first hints about the design of the much-anticipated all-new 2006 VE Commodore.

    Simcoe has just been headhunted from Holden to GM headquarters in the US and spoke last week of the yet-to-be-unveiled Commodore before his departure. The man responsible for the Monaro says the revolutionary new VE – a car set to change the destiny of Holden in Australia – was his favourite project at Holden.

    "You haven't seen it yet. It's probably my favourite project because it's been a vehicle that has been generated not even vaguely related to anyone else's architecture. It's an architecture and a vehicle that is proportional.

    "All the building blocks were designed and invented here and it will be 100 per cent Australian – and it's already got the rest of the world intrigued.

    "The Monaro was a great project and a great experience ... but it was a version of a vehicle. The VE is much bigger than that. The VE is absolutely controlling our own destiny and designing the vehicle that we wanted, so at that level it is much more important," he says.

    The next model Commodore, the updated VZ, is set to be launched this October. Simcoe, meanwhile, will take up the role of Executive Director of Design, Body Frame Integral Architectures at GM's headquarters next month.

    He will be in charge of the exterior design of all North American products – cars, crossovers and whatever doesn't have frames, cars such as Pontiac, Chevrolet and Buick, along with Cadillac. In a country where SUVs and pick-up trucks are the vehicles of choice, Simcoe's experience of passenger car design will be invaluable.

    Currently Simcoe is in charge of 140 GM employees. That will jump to 1500 in his new role. Despite the job being only for three years, Simcoe feels it will be closer to five before all-new products reflecting his influence will be released.

    He says he had previously knocked the US job back to finish Holden projects.

    "There was stuff that still needed to be done at Holden," he says. "It sounds silly. (But) it was as simple as that, the VE was well and truly being cooked at that stage and it would have been silly to walk out of the place."

    In between Simcoe was the Executive Director GM Asia-Pacific Design.
     
  8. jinushaun

    jinushaun New Member

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    Looks very European! :eek3:
     
  9. jinushaun

    jinushaun New Member

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    He's only responsible for the exteriour. :o Who's head of interiour design? :confused:
     

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