Like Ralph Gilles, Bryan Nesbitt is an industrial designer who scaled corporate America's ladder to reach that lofty executive level. The Art Center grad, who designed Chrysler's PT Cruiser and the Chevy HHR, is GM's head of design in North America, and GM has just announced that Nesbitt is going to Shanghai with a new job title: Vice President of GM International Design.
Interestingly, the Times reports that
...When [Nesbitt] arrives in Shanghai, a top priority will be to tap in to local design talent.
"I'm interested in finding out what is happening in the Chinese design community and finding out the caliber of design education," he said, adding that he also planned to closely examine trends in Chinese industrial design outside of the automotive realm.
We find it encouraging that an American corporate giant is having an ID'er, not a marketer or engineering guy, examine another culture's design trends with the hopes of incorporating local and relevant talent into the company's stable. It will also be interesting to see what a China-specific car designed by GM would look like, not to mention other non-car vehicles that the company may branch out into. The Times article goes on to point out that
One of his roles, Mr. Nesbitt said, would be to present G.M. as a mobility company, not just a car company. G.M.'s display at the 2010 Shanghai World Expo of its futuristic, networked E-NV pods attracted a lot of attention. Such systems may have a future in China, he said.