Following the biggest news surrounding General Motors that Joel Ewanick, the brand’s Global Marketing Chief, stepped down, reports now say that one of the General’s highest-ranking designers has just stepped down very unexpectedly.
Dave Lyons, who joined General Motors in 1990, is most recently notable for the design of the 2013 Cadillac XTS’s interior, along with transitioning Buick’s interior design with a theme from GM’s Opel brand in Europe. His work also brought about the design of the Chevrolet Volt’s interior.
It is not clear as to why Lyon left as he was expected to spearhead General Motors’ design studio in Germany. Additionally, General Motors recently promoted him to vice president of design for General Motors Europe.
- By: Chris Chin
General Motors has sacked its head of global marketing, reportedly over a controversial deal that will see Chevrolet sponsor English soccer team Manchester United in a multi-million-dollar arrangement that runs into the next decade.
Bloomberg reports GM company executives questioned global marketing chief Joel Ewanick over the Manchester United sponsorship agreement and subsequently felt they had no choice but to ask for his resignation after he failed to make some of the details of the deal clear.
Ewanick reportedly agreed to pay more than 25 million pounds ($ 37 million) per year for seven years to have the Chevrolet badge appear on the shirts of the world’s most popular soccer team – 25 per cent more than the existing deal with Aon Corp.
Despite its apprehensions with the arrangement, GM plans to see the partnership through. The deal is set to cost GM in excess of $ 260 million between the 2014/2015 to 2020/2021 English Premier League seasons.
Former Holden boss Alan Batey has been appointed interim global chief marketing officer in Ewanick’s place – the appointment coming just two months after Batey was promoted to the role of GM vice president US sales and service. Batey led Holden for a little over six months between September 2009 and March 2010.
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Even one resignation of a high-ranking official at a major car company would make news, but General Motors is in the difficult position of announcing two separate resignations at the same time.
The first one concerns General Motors Marketing Chief Joel Ewanick who stepped down during the weekend, with Bloomberg News reporting that he resigned because he “didn’t meet the company’s expectations of an employee,” according to an e-mailed statement it acquired from the Detroit automaker.
The 52-year old executive, who previously worked for the North American divisions of Nissan and Hyundai, joined GM in May of 2010 and was in charge of marketing for the company’s North American unit before he was named global chief marketing officer in December 2010.
Citing an unidentified source, CNBC said that GM ousted Ewanick because of a marketing deal with the Manchester United football (soccer) club. On Monday, GM issued a press release stating it has sealed the seven-year deal with the British football club for an undisclosed amount.
The second resignation comes from GM’s European unit as longtime designer David Lyon, who was named new vice president of Europe Design in June, unexpectedly left the company only days before he was supposed to take over the new high-ranking role of overseeing design for the Opel and Vauxhall brands.
The CDN-GM Interactive competition front page – from here, you can look at and choose to enter the briefs from each GM brand. Click for larger images
Opel/Vauxhall Competition Exterior and Interior phase winners – Victor Uribe (left) and Chiayuan Lu (right) stand with Mark Adams, VP of Design for Opel/Vauxhall, at this year’s Geneva motor show
A page from the GMC brief
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Compact Luxury Entry is Buick’s Third New Model in Two Years
DETROIT – The all-new 2012 Buick Verano compact luxury sedan, the brand’s third new model in the past two years and first in the compact luxury segment, will be revealed at the North American International Auto Show.
Verano goes on sale in the fourth quarter of 2011, the latest model in a product renaissance that began with the Enclave and continued with the LaCrosse and Regal. Like them, Verano is distinguished by luxury and technology, including 10 standard air bags, an available heated steering wheel and a next-generation radio system with OnStar-powered connectivity that enables seamless communication between the Verano and the driver’s smart phone.
An Ecotec 2.4L and six-speed automatic powertrain combination is standard and delivers an estimated 177 horsepower (132 kW) and 170 lb.-ft. torque (230 Nm), 0-60 mph performance of 8.0 seconds and an estimated 31 mpg on the highway. A 2.0L turbo engine will be offered in the future.
“Verano expands our lineup, continues Buick’s momentum and gives us a great opportunity to attract a new generation of customers with a product that delivers on their expectations for design, performance and technology,” said John Schwegman, vice president of Buick marketing. “It is a smart choice that delivers unexpected luxury in a compact sedan – and it will compete head-to-head with competitors from Audi and Lexus.”
Five elements infused in Verano that define its character:
• Sculpted design – Refined styling with a sporty profile, blending Buick’s signature cues – including a black chrome waterfall grille, blue translucent projector beam headlamps, portholes and chrome accents
• Luxurious interior – Premium seat comfort and support redefined for a compact sedan and matched with upscale, soft-touch materials and premium leather – all complemented by leading-edge infotainment and ambient lighting
• Quiet tuning – The quietest compact sedan on the road – quieter than many midsize and full-size cars – Verano’s quietness is supported by acoustical laminated glass, triple door seals, refined chassis dynamics and specially manufactured 17-inch standard forged alloy multi-spoke wheels, which minimize road noise
• Refined and responsive performance – Powerful and efficient Ecotec 2.4L/six-speed automatic powertrain matched with a refined, responsive suspension system, including a sophisticated Watts Z-link rear suspension and four-wheel disc brakes with standard anti-lock brakes, full-function traction control and StabiliTrak electronic stability control
• Purposeful technology – Convenience and safety features that enhance the driving experience and are rare for the segment, including 10 standard air bags, a next-generation radio, touch screen navigation and advanced connectivity technologies powered by OnStar.
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