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Frankfurt show: Holden ‘inside job’ on design

Done their dash: The Buick Avenir concept was designed in Australia where “fresh, contemporary” interiors have become a hallmark of GM’s local design team.

GM design chief praises ‘absolutely fabulous’ interior designs from Oz

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17 Sep 2015

By RON HAMMERTON in FRANKFURT

GENERAL Motors’ design studio in Australia is kicking goals in interior design, according to GM vice-president of design Ed Welburn.

Speaking with GoAuto at the Frankfurt motor show where GM was launching the all-new Opel Astra that is destined for the Australian market next year, Mr Welburn volunteered the information that the Melbourne-based GM Australia Design team at Holden was leading the charge on new interiors, describing their recent work as “absolutely fabulous”.

“Very fresh, contemporary work,” he said. “All of our studios around the world have been impressed by it – and inspired by it.” The work remains under wraps for now, but Mr Welburn promised more Australian design work was set for public release soon.

“There certainly is some work coming out of there but I really can’t talk about it,” he said.

Asked if interior design was becoming a specialty of the Australian team, he said: “One of them. They will design whole cars and build whole cars – as you know they did a couple of them recently and will continue to do so.” Those cars include the Chevrolet Bolt EV hatch concept and the Buick Avenir large sedan concept that were shown at the Detroit motor show in January.

Asked if the Holden team might get another small car project like the Australian-designed, Australian-built Cruze hatch, Mr Welburn said he could not disclose such information.

“I think you will be happy though,” he added with a smile.

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