Innovation & Design

GM: All Change


New directors of design roll into place at GM offices in Shanghai and Europe

New additions have been made to the design management teams at General Morors, both in Asia and in Europe.

Effective today (August 1), Friedhelm Engler begins his new role as Director of Design for the Pan Asian Technical Automotive Center (PATAC), based in Shanghai, China. He is responsible for all design related activities in the joint venture between General Motors and the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. Group (SAIC).

Engler is no stranger to the Asian market. After graduating from the Pforzheim Institute of Design he spent three years in Japan working as a product-designer developing designs for the European and Asian market. He joined GM in 1992 and has since worked in several senior positions.

In 2000 Engler was appointed Chief Designer for compact cars and he led the design of the latest generation of Opel/Vauxhall Astra Models, the Opel/Vauxhall Meriva and before that the third generation of the Opel/Vauxhall Corsa, among several other vehicle designs.

Today also marks Phillip A. Zak's first day as Director of Exterior Design for GM Europe. He will be charged with heading the exterior design of the Opel, Vauxhall and Saab brands as well as the design of certain Saturn products for North America. Zak succeeds Mark Adams, who was named Vice President of Design for GM Europe on June 1 this year.

Previously Zak held the position of Exterior Design Director of General Motors Global Compact Utility Studio at the GM North American Design Center. As of 1991, he has worked in several senior positions within the GM Design organization establishing new design directions for brands like Pontiac, Oldsmobile and Opel.

Zak graduated from the Cleveland Institute of Art in 1988 with a Bachelor's Degree in Fine Arts with a major in Industrial Design. He earned a Gund Traveling Scholarship, the highest award given to a graduate. Among others, Zak was part of the Saturn Prevue Concept program as well as being responsible for the Pontiac G6 sedan design direction, Pontiac GXP Performance line and other Pontiac concepts vehicles like the REV.

"The two appointments clearly demonstrate our global approach at GM Design. In our eleven design studios around the world we continuously challenge our selves to create high quality brand focused designs" says Mark Adams, Vice President of Design for GM Europe.

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