Skip to main content

GM design boss Ed Welburn to retire on July 1

GM design boss Ed Welburn and the Buick Avista concept
Image used with permission by copyright holder
In its 108-year history, General Motors has only had six heads of design. The current one, 65-year-old Ed Welburn, will retire July 1.

Welburn announced his retirement Thursday, marking the end of a 44-year career at GM. He’ll be succeeded by Michael Simcoe, who is currently vice president of GM International Design, working in Australia and South Korea. He’ll be the company’s seventh design boss, and will begin transitioning to the role May 1.

When he was named vice president of GM North America Design in 2003, Welburn became the first African American to lead the design department of a carmaker. He followed in the footsteps of legends like Harley Earl, the father of GM design. Welburn was promoted in 2005 when GM created the position of global design vice president.

During his tenure, Welburn expanded GM’s design resources to include a network of 10 design centers in seven countries, including the U.S., Germany, South Korea, China, Australia, Brazil, and India. He currently oversees more than 2,500 people worldwide.

Welburn wanted to work at GM since at least age 11, when he wrote a letter to the company asking how he could become a car designer. He began his career there in 1972 working as an intern, and moved to the Buick design studio the next year. He worked on the Riviera and Park Avenue before moving to Oldsmobile in 1975. Welburn subsequently worked overseas, at GM’s advanced design center, and on the company’s popular big trucks and SUVs.

His replacement, Simcoe, has worked at GM for 33 years. He started in 1983 at GM’s Australian Holden division, and eventually became head of GM design for the Asia Pacific region. In 2004, Simcoe was named executive director of North American Exterior Design. Most recently, he led the team responsible for the Buick Avenir concept that debuted at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show.

Editors' Recommendations

Stephen Edelstein
Stephen is a freelance automotive journalist covering all things cars. He likes anything with four wheels, from classic cars…
General Motors and AT&T teaming up to launch 5G connected vehicles
Chevy MyLink

General Motors is partnering with AT&T to launch 5G connected vehicles over the next decade. The updates aim to provide better connectivity, helping users navigate routes more accurately, download updates faster, and access seamless entertainment through uninterrupted streaming. Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac, and GMC vehicles coming out in 2024 will be equipped with 5G connectivity supported by AT&T’s infrastructure. Users in the United States owning 4G LTE-capable model year 2019 and newer vehicles can migrate to the new network once it’s available in the market. The current 4G LTE-equipped model year 2019 and newer vehicles will also have improved connectivity and smoother performance until the 2024 updates are fully rolled out. GM and AT&T started working together in 2014 when they launched in-vehicle Wi-Fi hotspots and this partnership stemmed from GM and AT&T’s two-year collaboration.
“By connecting millions of GM vehicles to our nationwide 5G network, we will improve the customer experience for existing services while laying the groundwork for the next wave of innovation including autonomous driving,” said Gregory Wieboldt, senior vice president, Global Business, Industry Solutions, AT&T. “We now connect more vehicles than any other carrier and GM has played a critical role in our success. We’re honored to work alongside GM to usher the next chapter of connected driving.”
AT&T is additionally working with Microsoft to improve the network’s speed and reliability through the company’s scalable and secure cloud services.
“This strategic alliance provides a path for all of AT&T’s mobile network traffic to be managed using Microsoft Azure technologies,” a statement in June read. “By using Microsoft’s hybrid and hyperscale infrastructure, AT&T can substantially reduce engineering and development costs. Early access to Microsoft’s cloud, A.I., and edge technology will provide AT&T with the flexibility it needs to rapidly innovate and launch new services and customer experiences enabled by 5G.”AT&T and GM also collaborated with WarnerMedia last year by rolling out its premium content for entertainment in GM vehicles. All these changes aim to improve the overall customer experience and make faster connectivity more accessible. The 5G connectivity will also help build a strong infrastructure for future updates including Super Cruise and the Vehicle Intelligence Platform.
This collaboration is just one of AT&T's many partnerships as it works to roll out 5G. One of the more recent rollouts included the announcement of 5G+ -- more commonly known as mmWave 5G -- at major airports nationwide. “This rollout demonstrates our commitment to growth through software-enabled services and reimagining every customer touchpoint by enabling faster connectivity speeds to power in-vehicle voice-enabled services, navigation, and apps that our customers have grown to love,” Santiago Chamorro, GM vice president of Global Connected Services said in a statement.

Read more
Nothing’s Ear 1 earbuds will cost $99, have noise canceling upon July 27 debut
Nothing Concept 1 teaser image.

It has taken a while, but we now know a little more about the first product from new technology company Nothing. The Nothing Ear 1 true wireless earbuds will launch at 2 p.m. BST on July 27 in the U.K., which is 6 a.m. PT and 9 a.m. ET in the U.S. They will cost $99 USD and though much still remains unknown about their design, Nothing has confirmed that they will feature "state-of-the-art" active noise cancellation (ANC) and each earbud will sport three high-definition microphones.

Along with the announcement of the price and ANC capability, Nothing released a new teaser image on Instagram, which it describes as "a close up of Ear 1."

Read more
2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV first drive review: Maintaining momentum
A blue Chevy Bolt against a snowy backdrop.

With a range of more than 200 miles, and a base price under $40,000, the first-generation Chevrolet Bolt EV was an electric-car game-changer, but where does Chevy go from there?

For the Bolt EV’s first major update, Chevy redesigned the exterior and interior, and added a second model to the lineup. The 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV was meant to be a more SUV-like alternative to the standard Bolt EV, with a more upright profile and more rear-seat space. The EUV is also the first non-Cadillac model to get General Motors’ Super Cruise driver-assist system.

Read more