Saab History Participates In GM Next Chat

Posted on 04. Jan, 2008 by in 2000-2009, 9-4X BioPower, Designers

gmnextlogo_w600.jpg Saab History participated in a chat that began today on a website called “GM Next“. The GM Next website was launched as an idea to “engage different people in a global discussion about the future not just of GM, but about the future of personal transportation.”

GM Next is a “Media Forum” website where this discussion takes place with the individuals who are responsible for directly shaping the future of GM.

There were numerous individuals that you could chat with during the day in a half schedule today. I had the opportunity today to chat with Michael Simcoe, Executive Director Exterior Design, North America – General Motors Design Center. Here is his Biography below.

simcoe.jpgMichael Simcoe, currently executive director of body on frame integral, is responsible for all exterior design in North America and has been appointed executive director of exterior design for North America. Michael will report to Bryan Nesbitt, executive director, GM Europe Design.

Simcoe was appointed executive director, design, dody frame integral, on August 1, 2004. In this role he is responsible for all body frame integral vehicles for GM North America.

Previous to this position, Michael served as GM’s executive director Asia Pacific design, a position he held since September 1, 2003. In that post, he led the design strategy and oversaw day-to-day design operations including Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center (PATAC) design center in Shanghai, China. At the same time, he remained responsible for Holden’s design effort as part of his regional role.

Since commencing his Holden career as a designer in 1983, and with subsequent appointments as senior designer (1985) and chief designer (1987), Michael Simcoe had been involved in every major vehicle design program Holden has undertaken. In 1995, Michael became the director of design for the Asia Pacific region and was responsible for the management of collaborative projects with GM alliance partners such as Daewoo, Suzuki, Subaru and Isuzu. Following that, he served as design director, Holden Ltd. in 2001.

Michael was born on October 1, 1957, and holds an associate diploma of art industrial design from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. Upon graduation, he became employed as a product designer in Australia and the UK on a variety of projects, including the design of plastic components, military helicopters and aircraft interiors.

Since Michael Simcoe is in charge of exterior design for GM North America, I of course had to ask all of the questions I could about the up and coming, Saab 9-4x Crossover vehicle to be debuted at the 2008 NAIAS at the end of next week.

I enjoyed our discussion and with permission from the folks at the GM Next chat today, I have provided you the transcript of this session for your enjoyment.

EXTERIOR DESIGN 1-3 Michael Simcoe

Saabhistory says (13:27):
Who is responsible for for the upcoming exterior design of the Saab crossover launch at the NAIAS as well as future product launches for saab?

Michael Simcoe says to (13:29):
As a global design organization, we are potentially able to execute all of our brands in all of our studios. Theme-ing for the SAAB crossover was done by our European design studios and here in North America.

Michael Simcoe says to (13:29):
The execution of the exterior design has been handled here in North America.

Saabhistory says (13:30):
Thanks, who are the individuals responsible for this design at both studios?

Saabhistory says (13:38):
Who are the designers responsible for exterior design of Saab products in both studios?

M. Simcoe Session Moderator says to (13:40):

Saabhistory are you asking for the names of the designers?

Michael Simcoe says to (13:40):

Anthony Lo is responsible for GM Design in Europe, which includes SAAB.

Michael Simcoe says to (13:41):

Bryan Nesbitt and myself are responsible for execution of exteriors in North America.

Saabhistory says (13:41):

Michael, yes, thank you.

Saabhistory says (13:43):
How long did it take to design the exterior of the Saab Crossover and what were the influences of that design?

Michael Simcoe says to (13:45):
As far as time goes – we don’t really talk about how long it takes us to design a car – because it’s one of our competitive advantages.

Michael Simcoe says to (13:44):
The exterior of the SAAB crossover was influenced by the Aero X Concept.

Saabhistory says (13:44):
Were there any previous concept car influences such as the 9-3X for the c-pillar as well?

Michael Simcoe says to (13:46):
Theming on the SAAB crossover is true to what we will use for all SAABs going forward – from the wrap around wind sheild, C pillar execution, aero inspired surfacing and the new three port grille opening.

Saabhistory says (13:48):
What percentage of the exterior design of this crossover that we’ll see at the NAIAS, will be carried into a production version?

Michael Simcoe says to (13:51):
You’ll see it in the photographs… however… like the majority of concept vehicles we do these days, they represent almost completely the production vehicles.

Michael Simcoe says to (13:51):
Evidenced by the Solstice , the Enclave and – although it hasn’t been seen yet – the production Camero.

Saabhistory says (13:51):
That’s good to hear, thank you.

Saabhistory says (13:51):
Do we have a naming convention for the crossover at this time?

Michael Simcoe says to (13:52):

Saabhistory says (13:52):
Ok. Thanks.

Tomorrow morning I will be enjoying a conversation with none other than Anthony Lo, Director Advanced Design, GM Europe Design, who worked as a designer on the Saab 9-X, 9-3X, 9-3 Sport Hatch as well as the Aero-X. That conversation shall not be missed!

Below is the list of all of the people you get the chance to chat with from General Motors in the GM Next forum.

Alain Visser
Alan Taub
Anthony Lo
Antony Stolfo
Bernardo Garcia
Bob Babik
Carlos Barba
Christopher Borroni-Bird
David Chen
David Tulauskas
Ed Welburn
Frank Saucedo
Gary Smyth
Henrique Pereira
Jeffrey Kimpan
Jonathan Lauckner
Ken Parkinson
Kevin Wale
Malcolm Gauld
Maryann Combs
Michael Simcoe
Micky Bly
Pedro Manuchakian
Pyongwan Park
Ray Bierzynski
Richard Scheer
Rick Wagoner
Rita Forst
Sheila Jain Sarver
Steve Clarke
Troy Clarke

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