FORMER Holden design boss Mike Simcoe - the man who brought the Monaro back to Australia in 2001 - has been promoted to the position of vice president of General Motors design.
Simcoe, who started with Holden in 1983 and was influential in vehicles such as the VT and VE Commodores, will move into the new role on May 1, replacing 44-year GM veteran Ed Welburn for the most senior design job in one of the world's biggest car companies.
Simcoe is only the seventh design chief in GM's 100-year-plus history.
In announcing the promotion for Simcoe - making him the most senior Australian currently working in the global automotive industry - former Holden boss and the current vice president of product development, Mark Reuss, praised Welburn's 13-year tenure as the boss of GM design. He also reflected on Simcoe's expertise and respect within the company and the automotive industry generally.
“Given his deep global experience and passion for breakthrough design, Michael is the right person to lead GM Global Design,” said Reuss. “He is known for his ability to take diverse ideas and mold them into great products that surprise and delight our customers.”
Holden's Melbourne-based Australian design team - officially GM Australia Design - plays an instrumental role in the global GM design world.
As well as assisting with the look of upcoming production models, Australian designers play a key role in advanced design, which involves developing one-off concept cars that set and reflect future trends.
Simcoe is set to become one of the most influential Australians who have become major forces in the global automotive industry. They include former Ford president Jac Nasser, former Jaguar and Land Rover boss Geoff Polites and former GM China boss Kevin Wale.
Wheels will be talking to Mike Simcoe this morning and will publish a story with his comments.