Bryan Nesbitt, a noted automotive designer who briefly served as a brand executive, is once again being appointed to an international outpost in General Motors’ styling organization.
GM announced today that Nesbitt — who is currently the executive director of North American exterior design and global architecture strategy — is being named vice president of GM International Operations design, and will be based out of Shanghai, China. As part of his new role, GM says Nesbitt will serve as a “brand champion” for its Wuling and Baojun brands, both of which are part of its Shanghai GM joint venture with SAIC.
“This alignment will continue to position GM’s global design organization to provide the company with a compelling vision for future vehicle designs,” said Ed Welburn, GM vice president of design, said in a prepared statement.
Nesbitt is perhaps best known for his time at Chrysler, where he spearheaded design for the popular Chrysler PT Cruiser in the late 1990s. Nesbitt jumped ship to GM in 2001, and helped style the retro Chevy HHR — which bore a striking resemblance to the PT he crafted at his previous employer. A three-year stint as GM Europe’s executive director of design in 2004 saw him lending a hand with the Opel Antara and Insignia, but returned to the U.S. when he was named North American vice president of design in 2007.
Nesbitt’s GM career took an interesting segway in 2009, when he was moved into a position completely unrelated to design. In the summer of 2009, Nesbitt was named general manager of the Cadillac brand. The appointment didn’t last long; by March 2010, yet another executive shakeup had Nesbitt returning to GM’s design roots.
GM notes Nesbitt’s new position is effective August 1. As part of the move, Ken Parkinson, who currently serves as vice president of GMIO design, will move return to the U.S. and assume Nesbitt’s former role.