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Image of Ed Welburn

© Gilles Perrin http://www.gilles-perrin.com/

Ed Welburn
Vice President for Global Design, General Motors

I’ve been drawing cars since I was two and a half. At age eleven, I wrote GM and said I wanted to be a car designer . . . for GM. They sent me great information and I just followed their lead. I’ve been with General Motors my entire adult life.

The future? Well I think there’s going to be a radical change in the market. Fuel-economy standards are going to cause some very different changes. It’s going to be very competitive. Everyone will have the same technologies; so design, the aesthetics, will be the great differentiator. It was that way back in the 1930s, it is today, and it will be in the future. If everyone has got autonomous driving, fuel cells and all that, the good-looking car will do better than the other one. You know if everyone has great quality, then the aesthetics will have an influence, will make the difference. How we communicate the designs with our customers may change in many ways, but it will remain to be very, very important. The customers don’t want to hear about our challenges; they just want a great car.

From June 15, 2012, interview