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Despite cuts, GM adds designers

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Rick Kranz | | Automotive News / April 24, 2006 - 6:00 am

NEW YORK - While newspapers have been filled with headlines about job cuts at General Motors, the automaker's design studio has been adding jobs.

"The corporation believes in what we are doing," Ed Welburn, vice president for global design, said in an interview this month at the New York auto show.

"They realize the importance of design and having choices, design alternatives for the leadership to make those tough decisions. So we are continuing to hire."

GM's studios across the globe have been expanding.

Welburn was unable to say how many jobs were added, but said: "Last year we hired 14 designers alone from (Detroit's) College for Creative Studies. We hired from the Art Center, (in Pasadena, Calif.), from the Royal College of Art in London, and schools in Korea, China and Australia.

"Nobody talks about it. And we're continuing to hire in North America, Brazil, Australia, Germany and Korea."

Welburn said the hiring has strained studio space.

"We have a lot to do, and our studios are bulging at the seams," Welburn said. "We're expanding the studio in Europe. A new wing has been added to our studio in Korea, and in Australia we took over space that was an engineering building."

http://autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?...20of%20Contents

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Product development is the key to the future.

If you do not continue to build for the future all the deals you make with the UAW and others to cust cost will be wasted.

Goodyear tire is digging themselves out of a hole with many new products over the last 2 years. Profits are up and they are well on the way to recovery and paying down their debt. The Assurance line of tires are making them a lot of money and profit.

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Definitley a good idea and helps us start to get on track with Lutz's statement "design, design, design." Design, as stated many times before, is definitley the key to selling cars and the addition of more designers opens more options to choose from when designing a car. Good move GM

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Product development is the key to the future.

If you do not continue to build for the future all the deals you make with the UAW and others to cust cost will be wasted.

Goodyear tire is digging themselves out of a hole with many new products over the last 2 years. Profits are up and they are well on the way to recovery and paying down their debt. The Assurance line of tires are making them a lot of money and profit.

HERE HERE!

its all about the cars.

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Definately a sign of good things to come.

One question remains: Will GM keep trying to shorten it's product development cycle to keep the company truly competitive or will a car continue to take 5 years to get from clay to finished product?

That's the real issue here.

The solstice took record time (for GM) to get to the streets.

Hopefully Lutz will allow the future GM vehicles to do the same.

Edited by Cadillacfan

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Just remember NOT to benchmark CURRENT cars when designing a car that will be on the roads in 2-5 years. Always think about the future and be innovative.

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Just remember NOT to benchmark CURRENT cars when designing a car that will be on the roads in 2-5 years.  Always think about the future and be innovative.

Agreed. I think a more diverse designers pool will help with that.

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GM hiring more designers is great, but were they short handed in the past? Have products missed delivery dates because of the lack of designers.

At the same time GM is hiring more designers who can create cool looking concept cars, they are laying off the engineers that will design the actual products. What good are cool designs if you cannot get them to the market because your engineering team is focused on the next car OR truck instead of the next car AND truck because of the lack of resources?

Sounds like we will see more cool, but utterly useless concept cars from GM. Concepts cars do not generate sales.

Mark

Edited by usa1

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The problem won't be addressed by hiring new designers, but by actually allowing the designers a free hand in everything. Current and older GM designers were/are talanted, they just never had a chance to show it with all the roadblocks that were in the way.

So GM: Take risks, make a change, and for God's sake give us something to envy besides the Kappa roadsters...

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