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GM Advanced Design Center Celebrates 10 Years


In 2010 General Motors has celebrated 10 years of activity of its North Hollywood Advanced Design Center, the studio led by Frank Saucedo that combines the brand’s design heritage with innovative visions of the future.
Chevrolet SS Concept

10 years ago, in January 2001, at the Los Angeles Auto Show the GM Advanced Design Center presented its first vehicle, the Chevrolet Borrego Concept.

The North Hollywood Advanced Design Center opened its doors in January 2000 in the former home of one of the area’s historic landmark bread bakeries.

Since then, the studio has penned a number of projects, maintaining Harley Earl’s legacy and reflecting California’s eclectic culture.

Other well-known cars conceived in the studio include:

  • The Pontiac Solstice;
  • The Chevrolet SS concept car;
  • One of GM’s EN-V concept vehicles, which made their debut earlier this year at the Shanghai World Expo;
  • The GMC Granite Concept, which debuted at the 2010 North American International Auto Show in Detroit and captured the “Eyes on Design” award for Best Concept Vehicle at the show.


The North Hollywood Design Center includes designers from the United States, England, France, Germany, Finland, Italy, Korea and Iraq.

The design center has won the prestigious L.A. Design Challenge three of the last six years – including the latest edition – , and has worked closely with movie director Michael Bay on the “Transformers” movie series and talk show host Jay Leno on custom creations such as the Cadillac EcoJet.

GMC Granite CocneptCadillac Aera Concept 

The latest creation of the design center is the Cadillac Aera Concept, unveiled at the last 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show.

Below we report the official comments by GM design managers.

“GM Design traces its roots back to Hollywood native Harley Earl and California’s rich, diverse and eclectic culture, which has inspired some of our greatest designs over the past century,” said Ed Welburn, GM’s vice president of Global Design.
“And since its inception, the North Hollywood Advanced Design Center has continued this tradition and played an integral role in some of our most notable advanced concepts the last decade.”
Studio director Frank Saucedo commented:
“Since opening the North Hollywood Advanced Design Center 10 years ago, our goals have been to provide an alternative voice in design philosophy and serve as an observation post for the company on global design trends from around the world.”
“The design center is home to some of our most forward-thinking designers, and this anniversary is the perfect opportunity to recognize their work and talent.”

About General Motors Design

The first and largest global automotive OEM design function, General Motors has a network of 10 Design Centers in eight countries around the world.
More than 1,500 men and women are responsible for the design development of every GM concept and production car and truck globally.
The Design Centers are located in the United States, Germany, England, Korea, China, Australia, Brazil and India, and GM Design employees represent more than 99 percent of all countries across the globe.
GM Design is led by Ed Welburn, vice president, Global Design. Welburn is only the sixth Design leader in GM history, and the first to lead all of the company’s Global Design Centers.


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