And now - a word from that world-traveller Jody DeVere - who is reporting on the auto show...
It's the designers that were the stars of the Detroit Auto Show this year, and boy did they shine! I was given the opportunity to interview many GM designers last week there, men and yes women designers working in the GM design center headed up by long time GM employee Bob Lutz and Warren Welburn. Bob Lutz is responsible for bringing back GM's focus on design and setting loose the creativity of his team of about 500 designers and project managers to come up with the innovative and award winning new GM vehicle line up on display at the 2007 Detroit Auto Show this week.
The GM design team is made up of a group of extremely passionate men and many talented women who are influencing these new designs, from the very young and hip to the dedicated old timers with backgrounds ranging from fine arts degrees to industrial design degrees.
I spoke with Anne Asensio who worked on the amazing Volt plug in electric concept car interior design, Micah Jones a twenty-ish hip designer who worked on the new Camero, Jim Taylor GM of Cadillac, Ed Peper GM of Chevrolet and several of the designers and project managers who worked on the award winning design for the 2008 Cadillac CTS and the newly updated design of the Chevy Malibu. Liz Pilibosian, Natile Leavy, Eric Clough, Wade Bryant, Clay Dean and the many other encounters and interviews with this GM design team spoke miles to me about the kind of a new freedom, creativity, passion and enthusiasum that is fueling the hip new face of the GM vehicle line up for 2007 and beyond.
The next step is the Detroit Big-3 manufacturers sending designers, researchers into American homes to see how people live, learn what excites them in an automobile.
Automobile designers gave each other awards on Tuesday for vehicles they determined were the best of the North American International Auto Show, and Detroit's automakers won in three of the four categories.
It was no surprise to me the 2008 Cadillac CTS won an award for the best concept implementation; the Chrysler Nassau won for best innovation; the Kia Kue won for best functionality, and the Jeep Trailhawk won for best industrial design. Of the winners, the Cadillac CTS is the only vehicle slated for production and will be available in the fall at Cadillac dealers.
The event was the second annual Eyes On Design Awards at the auto show, and they are the only automotive design awards to be judged solely by designers. The jury included 24 designers who were not allowed to vote for their own vehicles.
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