Bryan Nesbitt

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Bryan Nesbitt is an automobile designer and currently head of General Motors Corporation International Operations Design,[1] based in Shanghai, China.[1] Nesbitt is also brand chairman for Wuling and Baojun, two automakers with which G.M. joint ventures.[2]

Previously Nesbitt had held the position of GM's North American Exterior Design and Global Architecture Strategy[1] and had been a designer with Chrysler. Several of his more prominent styling contributions have been to the Chrysler PT Cruiser,[3] the similarly retro Chevrolet HHR, the seventh generation Chevrolet Malibu.[4] and the 1997 Chrysler CCV, which had been conceived as a Chinese people’s car with bodywork constructed of recycled plastic bottles.[2]

Background[edit]

Bryan Edward Nesbitt was born in Phoenix, Arizona on January 24, 1969[5] and had wanted to be an automobile designer since his childhood.[6] He studied Architecture and Industrial Design at the Georgia Institute of Technology and holds a Bachelor's Degree with Honors in Transportation Design from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California.

Speaking of the childhood influences on his design perspective, Nesbitt cited several summer drives across North America in an AMC Gremlin with his mother:

This gave me a good sense of what makes the American culture," he says, "and why we end up with the solutions we do here versus the rest of the world. I value that.[7]

Career[edit]

At DaimlerChrysler for seven years,[5] Nesbitt designed the 1999 PT Cruiser concept vehicles, the 1998 Chrysler Pronto Cruizer and the 1997 Chrysler CCV.[5] Nesbitt joined General Motors in April 2001,[3] as chief designer for the Chevrolet brand. In January 2002, Nesbitt was appointed executive director in design and body-frame integral architectures for all North American GM brands. Bryan Nesbitt was named Executive Director, GM Europe Design in February 2004, and was responsible for all Opel, Saab and Vauxhall design activities. In June 2007, Bryan returned to the U.S. as the General Motors Vice-President of Design for North America,[3] responsible for all brands marketed and sold in the United States, Canada, and Mexico — at the time the brands included Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick, Pontiac, SAAB, Saturn, GMC, and Hummer.

In July 2009, GM named Nesbitt the new head of General Motors’ Cadillac premium division.[3] GM announced his removal from this position on March 2, 2010 and back to his old position as executive director, advanced concept group.[8] [9]

As one of the youngest member among GM Design's leadership ranks,[10] Nesbitt contributed to the design of the Pontiac Solstice,[11] Pontiac G6 coupe, Cadillac DTS and BLS, Buick Lucerne, Chevrolet Impala, HHR and Cobalt coupe, Saturn Aura and Sky, and GMC Acadia, Saturn Outlook, and Buick Enclave.[4]

In a 2001 USA Today article, Bob Lutz clarified Nesbitt's role in the HHR design:

during one of his (Lutz) first trips to GM's design center, he saw sketches of a vehicle that had been rejected, and ordered Brian Nesbitt, Chevy's design chief for concept cars, to get it ready for the show. Nesbitt, credited with designing PT Cruiser at Chrysler, arrived at GM a few months before Lutz. The concept was not a Nesbitt design, but he will be in charge of the final product. Lutz describes it as a heritage vehicle, a term he also uses to describe Cruiser, whose design he championed while at Chrysler. "It will be fully modern, but with a grille and lines that harken back.[12]

In a July 2008 interview for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Nesbitt spoke of his design philosophy at GM:

The competition in the industry is fierce, and you have to make sure you're always putting your best foot forward in terms of the quality of your products. In the past, GM had a problem with some of its vehicles. The quality wasn't as high as people expected, and from a design standpoint they weren't that appealing. If you look back at those cars five, six years ago, they were terrible. But then you can make them into success stories. You figure out why they aren't connecting with people and you address that. It's all about the customer.[13]

Nesbitt won an Automotive Hall Of Fame 2002 Young Leadership And Excellence Award while at GM.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Bryan Nesbitt appointed VP of GMIO Design". Car Body Design, 30 May 2011. 
  2. ^ a b "G.M.’s Bryan Nesbitt Pledges Design Differentiation for Chinese Market". The New York Times, Phil Patton, June 2, 2011. June 2, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c d "GM Names Bryan Nesbitt as New Cadillac Head". Leftlanenews.com, Drew Johnson, 7/23/2009. 
  4. ^ a b "51st New England International Auto Show". Providence Journal, Projo Cars, C.T. Elsworth, December 1, 2007. 
  5. ^ a b c "Bryan Nesbitt General Manager Cadillac". GM Media. "Bryan Nesbitt, 40, was appointed general manager, Cadillac brand in July 2008. In his role Bryan leads Cadillac, with particular focus on marketing and brand management. In his previous assignment, Bryan was General Motors North America Vice President of Design. Appointed in June 2007, he was responsible for the interior and exterior designs of all General Motors’ production vehicles developed in North America. Bryan joined General Motors in April 2001, as chief designer for the Chevrolet brand. In January 2002, Nesbitt was appointed executive director, design, Body-Frame Integral Architectures, for all GMNA Brands. Nesbitt was named Executive Director, GM Europe Design in February 2004. In that capacity he headed the GM Europe design organization, responsible for all Opel/Vauxhall and Saab design activities. Since being with GM, Nesbitt has invented such strategic concept vehicles as the ‘03 Chevrolet SS, ‘06 Saab Aero-X, ‘08 Saab 9-X, ‘07 Opel GTC Concept and ’07 Opel Flextreme. Nesbitt has directed the exterior themes of many new models such as the ’07 NA COTY Saturn Aura, the ’08 NA COTY Chevrolet Malibu, the ’08 Buick Enclave and the ’09 European COTY Opel Insignia. He was born in Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.A. on January 24, 1969. Nesbitt studied Architecture and Industrial Design at the Georgia Institute of Technology and holds a Bachelor’s degree with Honors in Transportation Design from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, U.S.A. Before joining General Motors, Nesbitt served as design manager at DaimlerChrysler." 
  6. ^ "Hottest Designer". Georgia Tech Alumni, April 2001. "Bryan Nesbitt's work on the design of the popular Daimler-Chrysler P/T Cruiser has put him in the driver's seat at the design studio of General Motor's Chevrolet division. Nesbitt, Cls 92, joined GM May 9, and is in charge of rejuvenating styling at Chevrolet. While Chevy's latest concept vehicles have been generally well received, its recent production car designs have barely made a ripple in automotive circles. Nesbitt reports to Anne Asensio who was the third-ranking designer at French automaker Renault when GM lured her last May to direct the design of GM's domestic brands. Nesbitt, 31, joins a group of "brand character chief designers" who lead the styling direction of each GM division. None is older than 36. "Bryan is the hottest designer in the United States right now," GM spokesman Scott Fosgard said. "If we were putting together the '27 New York Yankees, getting Bryan is like acquiring the cleanup hitter for Murderers Row." Nesbitt said he has wanted to be an automobile designer since he was a child in Phoenix. His father recognized his talents at age 12 and took him to the campus of the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Calif. After graduating from high school, Nesbitt studied architecture and industrial design at Georgia Tech in 1988-89, but he returned to the Art Center College and graduated in 1993 with a bachelor's in industrial design. After serving an internship at Daimler-Chrysler's Pacifica Advanced Product Design Center in Carlsbad, Calif., he was hired by Chrysler in 1994. "What I really liked at Georgia Tech was the emphasis on academics," Nesbitt said. "The Art Center was more of a trade school in the sense that it was very curriculum specific for particular careers. Tech gave me a broader understanding of the university system and how it can develop you academically and socially. I took a lot of architecture classes and that was a great foundation. The history of architecture is so profound and mechanical inventions like the automobile have such a short history by comparison. Tech's architecture program was a big influence on me." When Nesbitt unveiled his first prototype car at the 1997 Frankfort Auto Show, the P/T cruiser was already on his mind. "That was a third-world vehicle called the Chrysler Composite Concept Vehicle." he explained. "It was a tall, four-door hatchback and that was the first real inkling of the P/T Cruiser." Nesbitt — then a 27-year-old untested designer — began working on the popular retro-cruiser shortly after the Frankfurt show. Just as the original Volkswagen Beetle did a generation ago, the P/T Cruiser turned design heads. Nesbitt thought people would like the car, but even he was astounded when people began paying more than list price or camping on waiting lists for the opportunity to own one. One enthusiast even started an Internet-based fan club before the car hit the lots. As the popularity of the Cruiser increased, so did Nesbitt's stock in the world of automotive design and on April 23, General Motors hired him to head styling for the Chevrolet division. Nesbitt is grateful to Daimler-Chrysler for the opportunities it afforded him to flex his design muscles. "I have a lot of equity with Chrysler," he said. "I was very happy where I was but this is an opportunity to work for one of the biggest brands in the world. I'll be in the advanced studio, which is trying to define what the brand is really aspiring to be. My job will be to visually define that aspiration. You know, Chevrolet used to be the best brand in the world back in 1978 when they were selling a million Caprices a year. Now, that has been swallowed up by the Japanese and all the loyalty has shifted away from the domestics. Those present huge opportunities and that's what I'm excited about." GM design chief Wayne Cherry said GM would love to score a hit on the scale of the P/T Cruiser. "Obviously, a vehicle that generates a lot of excitement in the marketplace would be very welcome."" 
  7. ^ "Bryan Nesbitt: Calm, Casual, Centered". Field Guide to Automotive Technology, Christopher A. Sawyer. 
  8. ^ "Report: Brian Nesbitt out as Cadillac boss, Mark Ruess consolidates". Autoblog, March 2, 2010. 
  9. ^ "GM announces sweeping North American management shuffle ,Jeremy Korzeniewski". Autoblog, March 3, 2010. 
  10. ^ a b "GM's Nesbitt And Johnson To Receive Automotive Hall Of Fame 2002 Young Leadership And Excellence Awards". GM Media, October 16, 2002. 
  11. ^ "Making engineering and design work together Bryan Nesbitt, VP of design, GM North America". Boston Globe, Royal Ford, December 30, 2007. 
  12. ^ "GM exec predicts market share gain". USA Today, David Kiley, 11/07/2001. November 7, 2001. Retrieved April 27, 2010. 
  13. ^ "Q & A: Design chief for GM says 'It's all about the customer'". Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Rob Douthit, 06/28/08. 

See also[edit]

See Also: Photo of Bryan Nesbitt
See Also: Bryan Nesbitt, presents the Saab 9-4x BioPower Concept at the Boston Auto Show, Jan 2008