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. ----- 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." ----- Uncle Sam wants the Monaro Man... 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."