General Motors has named Andrew Smith to be the executive director of global Cadillac and Buick design. The move is part of the latest shuffling of design executives among the company's units. Smith is currently the design director for the Holden brand in Australia. He will be replacing Mark Adams, who will return to Germany to recover his previous position as head of GM Europe Design as well as "champion for Opel/Buick brand strategies and design language," according to GM.
Prior to being the top designer for Cadillac and Buick, Adams was vice president of GM Europe Design and was considered the brand champion for Opel and Vauxhall. Adams is set to become a key player in solving what GM chief executive Dan Akerson described last week as "probably the most complicated Rubik's Cube" within GM -- determining the brand strategies of Opel and Buick.
GM currently markets both brands on mostly shared architectures although on various designs in North America, China and Europe.
Akerson said GM is striving much harder to develop the "synergies" between Opel and Buick and better take advantage of the its costly engineering resources in Germany, where the carmaker develops the platforms that underpin most Opel and Buick models.
According to GM Design spokesman Dave Barnas, Buick and Opel are developing more joint strategies together, adding that there is a "strong desire to have a single point of contact" for initiatives globally from a design and brand perspective. [source: GM]