Bryan Nesbitt

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Bryan Edward Nesbitt (b. January 24, 1969 in Phoenix, Arizona)[1] is an automobile designer and currently head of General Motors Corporation International Operations Design,[2] based in Shanghai, China.[2] Nesbitt is also brand chairman for Wuling and Baojun, two automakers with which GM has joint ventures.[3]

Previously Nesbitt had held the position of GM's North American Exterior Design and Global Architecture Strategy[2] and had been a designer with Chrysler. Several of his more prominent styling contributions have been to the Chrysler PT Cruiser,[4] the similarly retro Chevrolet HHR, the seventh generation Chevrolet Malibu.[5] and the 1997 Chrysler CCV, which had been conceived as a Chinese people's car with bodywork constructed of recycled plastic bottles.[3]


Bryan Edward Nesbitt was born in Phoenix, Arizona 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]


Chrysler PT Cruiser
Chevrolet HHR
Chevrolet Malibu, Gen 7

At DaimlerChrysler for seven years,[1] Nesbitt designed the 1999 PT Cruiser concept vehicles, the 1998 Chrysler Pronto Cruizer and the 1997 Chrysler CCV.[1] Nesbitt joined General Motors in April 2001[4] 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. He became Executive Director of GM Europe Design in February 2004, and was responsible for all Opel, Saab, and Vauxhall design activities. In June 2007, he returned to the U.S. as the General Motors Vice-President of Design for North America,[4] responsible for all brands marketed and sold in the United States, Canada, and Mexico—at the time those were Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn, GMC, and Hummer. In July 2009, GM put Nesbitt in charge of the Cadillac brand,[4] then removed him from that position on 2 March 2010 back to his old position as executive director of the advanced concept group.[8] [9]

As one of the youngest GM designers,[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, GMC Acadia, Saturn Outlook, and Buick Enclave.[12]

In a 2001 USA Today article, Bob Lutz clarified Nesbitt's role in the Chevrolet 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.[13]

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.[14]

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


  1. ^ a b c "Bryan Nesbitt General Manager Cadillac". GM Media.
  2. ^ a b c "Bryan Nesbitt appointed VP of GMIO Design". Car Body Design, 30 May 2011.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ a b c d "GM Names Bryan Nesbitt as New Cadillac Head"., Drew Johnson, 7/23/2009.
  5. ^ "51st New England International Auto Show". Providence Journal, Projo Cars, C.T. Elsworth, December 1, 2007.
  6. ^ "Hottest Designer". Georgia Tech Alumni, April 2001.
  7. ^ "Bryan Nesbitt: Calm, Casual, Centered". Field Guide to Automotive Technology, Christopher A. Sawyer. Archived from the original on 2008-10-14.
  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.[permanent dead link]
  11. ^ "Making engineering and design work together Bryan Nesbitt, VP of design, GM North America". Boston Globe, Royal Ford, December 30, 2007.
  12. ^ "Bryan Nesbitt"., 6 March 2007.
  13. ^ "GM exec predicts market share gain". USA Today, David Kiley, 11/07/2001. November 7, 2001. Retrieved April 27, 2010.
  14. ^ "Q & A: Design chief for GM says 'It's all about the customer'". Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Rob Douthit, 06/28/08.

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