New GM Europe Design Guru Named

It was announced earlier that Bryan Nesbitt, the former chief of GM Europe Design, was heading to the US to head up their North American design unit.

Nesbitt’s replacement has now been named. He’s Mark Adams, he’s a Brit, and he’s reputed to have had a bit to do with Saab – specifically the 9-3 that we’re about to see next month.


Rüsselsheim. Mark Adams (45), newly appointed GM Europe Vice President of Design, will head the Rüsselsheim-based GM Europe design organization. Effective June 1, he is responsible for the design of GM’s European brands Opel, Vauxhall and Saab, as well as certain Saturn products for North America. Adams succeeds Bryan Nesbitt, who has been named Vice President of Design for GM North America.

“Creating exciting vehicles that have a distinct design language has been our key focus within GME Design and continuation on this path is critical in building strong Saab and Opel/Vauxhall brands going forward,” said Mark Adams. In his previous function as Director Exterior Design for GM Europe, Adams has led the exterior design of several award-winning Opel, Vauxhall and Saab production vehicles. A number of prestigious show cars outlined by him were among the most popular exhibits at the auto shows in Geneva, Frankfurt, Paris and Detroit.

“Mark led the exterior design of many our latest production models such as the Astra GTC, Zafira, Astra TwinTop, Antara, Corsa, and the forthcoming Saab 9-3,” said Carl-Peter Forster, President of GM Europe. “He has strongly influenced the next chapter in Opel’s and Saab’s design identity.”


Before Adams joined GM as Director Exterior Design for the Opel brand in 2002, he served in a series of chief designer positions at Ford Motor Company. Born in 1961 in London, England, Adams studied both Engineering and Design and holds a Bachelor of Science Degree with Honors in Mechanical Engineering as well as a Master of Arts Degree in Automotive Design from the Royal College of Art in London.

In 2006, GME greatly expanded its design operations in a new, world-class facility in Rüsselsheim which houses more than 350 design specialists from advanced and production design, while also providing a direct link and increased synergies between advanced engineering, product planning and the brands.

Headed by Bryan Nesbitt, the new GME Design Center has developed into a facility that provides GME’s designers with the location, atmosphere and tools they need to maximize the creative process and design of future vehicles. “Bryan has fully integrated GM Europe’s design studios into one European Design Center. These changes allow us to better support GM’s global business strategies. The result is a more streamlined organization that fully leverages the broad and deep resources throughout GM’s eleven global design studios. We look forward to having Bryan’s leadership skills on our North American team,” said Ed Welburn, Vice President of GM Design.

Recent GME design concepts
Under the lead of Bryan Nesbitt and Mark Adams, several GME concepts have won prestigious design awards and strongly influenced future production cars. Here are the most recent design concept cars which anticipate styling trends, challenge the status quo with radically different approaches and point to the future:

Opel GTC Concept (2007) With its bold, expressive lines, high driving dynamics and pronounced interior flexibility, the GTC Concept reflects the new, exciting interpretation of the Opel brand trademark characteristics.

Saab Aero X (2006) The unusual two-seat sports coupé – clearly inspired by the brand’s aircraft heritage – features a glass cockpit canopy that opens to allow passengers to enter. It was named 2006 Geneva “Best of Show” by editors of the U.S. motoring magazine AutoWeek and “Concept Car of the Year” by Autocar, Britain’s longest-established car magazine.

Opel Antara GTC (2005) The Opel Antara GTC combines two seemingly conflicting designs – a sporty coupé and a powerful SUV – yet at the same time manages to transcend them both. The concept car won a “Top Cars 2006 Award”, elected by 140 German, Austrian and Swiss motor journalists as well as the “Concept of the Year 2005” Autocar award.

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1 Comment

  1. This is excellent news. The guy is a very good designer. He will give Saab a fabulous look methinks.

    Hopefully he is reading this……if so………….. MAKE SURE THOSE BLACK OUTLINES ON THE REAR LAMP CLUSTERS OF THE FACELIFTED 9-3 TURN OUT TO BE LIGHT PIPES!!! Grrrrr! 🙂 🙂 🙂 please 🙂

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