For GM’s Ed Weburn, America’s Hottest Cars Have Roots In A Berwyn Repair Shop


The sleek lines of the latest Chevrolet Corvette and muscular stealth of the newest Camaro were drawn in part from a love for cars fostered in a small auto repair shop in Berwyn more than a half-century ago.

4.21.2015 Ed Welborn
Ed Welburn, GM’s Vice President of Global Design

Tagging along at his father’s small auto repair shop in Berwyn, General Motors Vice President of Global Design Ed Welburn “literally grew up with the car industry and was mesmerized by the sweeping designs of the big-finned vehicles that hogged the roads in the ‘50s,” according to a New Jersey Newsroom feature this week.

“Those cars took their design cues from the aircraft of that era,” he said in the article, “which represented the top technology of the time. We still take design cues from aircraft.”

The Welburn team’s newest innovations took center stage at the recent New York International Auto Show, which showcased “some 80 (GM) cars and trucks in an effort to overcome the seemingly unending flow of bad news with a cavalcade of eye-catching, flashy vehicles capable of luring motorists and their checkbooks into showrooms,” the article stated.

With Americans’ love of hot new cars revved up by their designs just as much as their capabilities, Welburn has been faced with the tough task of reviving that ages-old fascination with bold new ideas even as the industry went bankrupt, collapsed around him and suffered from significant safety recalls.

“The difficulty is keeping the creative juices flowing with a disparate group of temperamental artists after the public acceptance of their art pieces have been compromised by the poor work of others,” the article added.

Read much more about Welburn’s strategy during GM’s revival and the latest looks his design teams have come up with in the New Jersey Newsroom here.


Top photo credit: 1953 Chevrolet via photopin (license)

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