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hyperv6

Welburn Defends GM Design from Huffington Post Attack

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The far right has Rush but the far left has theirs too with the Huffington Post.

A writer Gerald Sindell trashes GM styling in a story he wrote on the far left post an open letter to new GM CEO Fritz Henderson suggesting that a new design direction should be Job 1 for the reinvention of GM, Welburn felt compelled to respond. As you might imagine, the response is a rather passionate one.

Check out the story on Autoblog.com. There are leads to the original story and reply.

It's as if everyone is doing the look at me thing on the hot topic of GM.

I am waiting for GM to turn a profit in 2 years and the Far Left will say we did it all and the Far Right will say will our tax money how could you fail.

I am proud of Ed for his defense to this uninformed idiot and only wish he would have taken the gloves off. I know that is something he can not do from a PR stand point but how much of this crap will the good guys at GM have to take. Ed has done more to advance GM styling since the 60's.

GM as far as I am concermend is the leader in styling. But styling alone will not sell car and bring repeat buyers. Once they get the quyality thing down and reliability on all the models they will have it made. They are closing in and they have only a few more old models to replace and the transformation will be completed.

For sure Honda and Toyota have not been any leader in styling. Nissans Cube proved Styling alone is not what sells cars.

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I've posted on Huffington from time to time and a far-left example of yellow journalism is about what they are. The driving force behind it won't be at peace until we're all riding rainbow-$h!ting unicorns. They're fascist as is the extreme right as led or fed (their lines) by Limbaugh.

In the middle are the muddled, drug-addled and otherwise fertile or impressionable minds. The war's being fought for those hearts, minds and debit cards.

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The Huffington Post seems to be a great source of crap these days. They post garbage by Alec Baldwin for Chrissake.

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I don't spend time reading the huff post, so I can't speak on how extreme their political bent, the only point of reference I have on them and their credibility is that they've been used increasingly in high profile publications as sources. that's not my point though.

i read both the original piece and mr. welburn's response. they both have points that are strong and right in thier own way. we still have product like the outgoing lacrosse, current impala and cobalt that display either lack of balance, lack of modern characteristics, or lack of originality, or all of the above. i think the most telling evidence is mr. welburn's defense that the Sindell ought to go and drive the new lacrosse and srx at the dealer. sorry mr. welburn, that just isn't the case yet, those cars aren't in dealers yet. while it may have been a typo or he may have been instructing Sindell to drive those cars in the near future, Welburn's error is the most credible example of how GM has failed in design.

their incoming product is stellar. consumers will give GM another chance, and the new GM will arise profitable and very strong, and I believe they will be able to pay off whatever notes are attached to the bailout loans, and we will be able to sell the 60% share in GM for a good amount of money. but that doesn't take away the fact of how poorly timed the product launches of some of the best design GM has put out in over 30 years, it just focuses in on how badly mismanaged the product and brands have been for years. whether that was a result of legacy costs is another issue entirely. the fact is the product was mediocre, and now the product replacing it is light years ahead and very desirable.

sindell's break down may seem amateurish, but he makes no assertions that his assumptions are technical or have bearing in fact. merely he's most referencing and focusing on GM's lack of well designed product to make his point. from that he uses the website presentation and the demo makeup of the people who design the cars along with their own enthusiasm for their own appearance to build his argument. it's credible, actually, clothing and appearance should be the cornerstone of any great and interesting designer. i wouldn't point a finger at one that doesn't think that way though.

again, both of them make good points, and are coming from different viewpoints. the wash post references the GM of the past that produced glorious design like the last malibu, welburn is referencing GM of the future, when insignia gets here you will see.....and such and such.

Edited by turbo200
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Point is the writer make his points based on out going cars and bashes GM for it while the present updated cars and incoming replacments are not brought into to play.

It is just an hack writer who again did like others did not do his home work and really address what is going on.

News and blogs in this country have agendas anymore and do not let all the facts get in the way anymore. Here is a prime case.

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actually he's yet another american consumer who doesn't care much about car shows or what is in the future, like us car enthusiasts, he simply cares that his car looks decent or 'nice', have desirable qualities, and is practical when he needs it to be. he is the average buyer and represents the average buyer mindset, the one who is won over by VW because of their smart design and good quality, or honda because of their efficiency and reliability and practical design. there is nothing that can be done except to release good product, with highly attractive qualities. GM is on the way to doing just that, in the meantime they will reap what they sowed.

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Ed Welburn's response:

Mr. Welburn writes:

Dear Mr. Sindell -

While your blog post was an open letter to Fritz Henderson, I personally

felt compelled to respond to you directly. As global vice president of GM

Design, I have the pleasure of leading one of the most diverse industrial

design organizations in the world. Across the globe, over a thousand

talented GM designers and sculptors are bringing the heart and soul of GM

to life. I have the pleasure of participating, developing and approving

every product our passionate design team creates.

Since taking on this role, my team and I have taken immeasurable strides to

bring manufacturing, engineering and design together on a global scale. We

no longer work in silos, we work together. We have cut down barriers,

removed obstacles and have returned to the essence which made GM great -

Design.

Great design surrounds us. Harley Earl invented the modern design studios

of the 20th century. Eero Saarinen designed our Technical Center, where I

am privileged to work. Great design is a part of our DNA; for every misstep

through the years like the Aztek, I’ll point to a Camaro, a Malibu or a CTS

- cars that were created in a cutting edge 21st century environment.

I mention three recent examples of well-received GM designs and wonder

openly if perhaps you have experienced them, especially their interiors. I

challenge you to visit a GM dealer and sit in the Chevrolet Malibu or

Camaro, Cadillac CTS or SRX, or the Buick LaCrosse before you question our

commitment to design and quality.

It is obvious design elicits an emotional response in all of us. It is

rational and irrational at the same time. The hallmark of good design is

sublime yet overt in its detail, beauty and craftsmanship. We at GM are

artists, innovators and problem solvers and are passionate about our work.

Above all, we are listeners. I cannot tell you how many research events,

nontraditional focus groups, and dialogs with potential customers, we at

Design conduct, much less the entirety of GM to understand what customers

want, what they like from competitive vehicles, what they dislike - all in

the name of exceeding expectations.

Regarding your taking exception to our wearing suits . . . at Design, I

manage a diverse team and I don’t care what my people wear. What I do care

about are creative results and their style of dress has nothing to do with

delivering great design. I want them to be comfortable. I believe, like

many customers, that style and design count in everything. Done well, it

makes people feel great. And style and elegance is what we design into each

car and truck GM produces.

And as for quantifying my colleagues as old white men, I can only point you

to my opinion , that diversity is not only represented in skin color or

gender; it is diversity of thoughts, ideas, experiences and opinions of our

people, that matters and makes us strong.

Our job today is to recapture, reconnect broadly with consumers, and help

them feel good about GM vehicles again. It will be difficult, but not

impossible, and our designers have the best chance of rebuilding that

confidence. My team is designing some of the best vehicles ever, in studios

right here in Michigan and across the globe - designs that inspire me and

the customers we’ve met with - keep your eye on us.

Ultimately, you and your readers will judge for yourselves. To that end,

I’d like to invite you to reacquaint yourself with our award-winning cars

and trucks. I would be happy to take you, Mr. Sindell, on a personal tour

of GM Design Headquarters in Warren, MI. I implore you to see what we’re

working on; and then let folks know what you think. In the interim, the GM

design staff will do its part to ensure that design stays in the asset

column.

Kindest regards,
Ed Welburn
Global VP, GM Design

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without a doubt, Mr. Welburn has reason to feel impassioned and displeased with the article. what happens is that GM design is really getting good, but the actual examples are not all that many, or not all that mass market, when it comes to what's in showrooms. in 2010-2011, GM should have few excuses to make.

Mr. Sindell's original criticism that GM needs a design reawakening, reemergence is completely true and valid.

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without a doubt, Mr. Welburn has reason to feel impassioned and displeased with the article. what happens is that GM design is really getting good, but the actual examples are not all that many, or not all that mass market, when it comes to what's in showrooms. in 2010-2011, GM should have few excuses to make.

Mr. Sindell's original criticism that GM needs a design reawakening, reemergence is completely true and valid.

Starting 2007, tell me ONE vehicle in which GM has let the ball drop when it comes to design? And I am not talking about MCE or rebadges like Aveo or G5, which were stop gaps to make sure the new platforms takes over in 2011.

GM has had design reawakening, reemergence, the article would have been completely true two years ago, not now. Compared to almost all the manufacturers GM's recent design has been in the top percentile. Unless he is talking about Toyota's or MB's design, which indeed has deteriorated, Siddle makes invalid points.

One thing GM needs to improve on is the details, small things which can be pesky to some most of the times or most for sometimes, but other than that overall design motif has shown renaissance.

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Starting 2007, tell me ONE vehicle in which GM has let the ball drop when it comes to design? And I am not talking about MCE or rebadges like Aveo or G5, which were stop gaps to make sure the new platforms takes over in 2011.

GM has had design reawakening, reemergence, the article would have been completely true two years ago, not now. Compared to almost all the manufacturers GM's recent design has been in the top percentile. Unless he is talking about Toyota's or MB's design, which indeed has deteriorated, Siddle makes invalid points.

One thing GM needs to improve on is the details, small things which can be pesky to some most of the times or most for sometimes, but other than that overall design motif has shown renaissance.

okay let me restate my last point of that post you quoted. from a layman's perspective, the criticism that GM needs a design reawakening is credible. yes GM has great design, sky/solstice, GMT 900s, malibu, camaro. aside from camaro and malibu, no mass market cars have been remade. therein lies the problem.

as for perfection in design. GM does not have a long way to go, but I'd like to see them further the balance in their design. I want to continue to see more attention to detail on form. example: enclave is aging poorly, imo, it's still attractive, but it's not so balanced, it could have lasted longer if it didn't look so fat, for example.

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okay let me restate my last point of that post you quoted. from a layman's perspective, the criticism that GM needs a design reawakening is credible. yes GM has great design, sky/solstice, GMT 900s, malibu, camaro. aside from camaro and malibu, no mass market cars have been remade. therein lies the problem.

as for perfection in design. GM does not have a long way to go, but I'd like to see them further the balance in their design. I want to continue to see more attention to detail on form. example: enclave is aging poorly, imo, it's still attractive, but it's not so balanced, it could have lasted longer if it didn't look so fat, for example.

An informed writer would have known GM has already made a start on this and also has many new well designed cars in the pipeline just waiting for release.

An informed writer would know GM is already 5 years into the awaking but with the money has had to delay the new cars.

Once our of bankruptcy he would know that there is an on slot of new GM vehicles that will attack the market with styling far above most on the market.

He would know about the new CTS wagon and coupe. He would be well aware of the new Nox, Volt, Cruze, Spark and Orlando. He would be praising the new Lecrosse and Regal [saturn Insigna] or what ever they call it. He would be saying how GM is transforming all these cars in a short time with more still coming not even anounced like the new Caddy Electric and the Alpha program.

But if he was informed on this topic enough to properly write about this we would not have to point out his story is about 8 years too late as they already had the come to Jesus monent and with Ed and the boys at Design are well ahead of his opionion.

At this point he should be pointing out even under dire times GM under Lutz and Welburn have give GM present new models and the next 5 years of cars a major jump on the compitition.

But as like most GM haters they tell the story their own twisted way. There many who are aginst GM making it and will not stop. I am not fully convinced even those in Goverment have GM's welfair at heart. They ail them out but slap them right back with Eco laws that will cost them more money at a time they can not afford it. They buy goverment fleets with more Ofrd products than GM and Chrysler. I would think an even split would be better.

Either way the point is no matter what GM does there will be someone there to cast a poor out look.

Lets face it if GM could make a car 100 times better than a Civic, price it less than a Hyundia and make it get 150 MPG only to have smeone say it is too little too late.

Lets face it even the comedian turned Activist hack Letterman attacked the Volt till confronted by Lutz.

Edited by hyperv6
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The Huffington post is pure trash. Plain and simple and they HATE GM, Mr. Welburn had a great response especially about the diversity in idea's part. What a great letter and a neat guy, I give Ed lots of credit for coming back with a great response.

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The Huffington post is pure trash. Plain and simple and they HATE GM, Mr. Welburn had a great response especially about the diversity in idea's part. What a great letter and a neat guy, I give Ed lots of credit for coming back with a great response.

They're like Baptists or Holy-Rolling Born-Agains (at Huffington; the Left Fringe) in that you just know they're raising hell; the tough part is catching them with their hands in the cookie jar.

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The Huff Post hates America in general, not just GM.

Glad to see Welburn mention 20th Century design greats like Eero Saarinen and Harley Earl.

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