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Rohan Saparamadu appointed Chief Designer at Maruti-Suzuki
by Eric Gallina   
Rohan Saparamadu will become Chief Designer and Advisor to Styling at Maruti-Suzuki on September 7, 2009. Click for larger images
The 1996 L-Series sedan (left) and the 1997 Saturn SC coupe (right): the brand's first global market sedan and first sports coupe, respectively
Saab 9-7X design came from an early concept sketch that Saparamadu prepared for Bob Lutz in 2003

Rohan Saparamadu has been appointed Chief Designer and Advisor to Styling at Delhi, India-based Maruti-Suzuki. Saparamadu, a veteran of GM Design for the last 23 years, was offered the position after he accepted an early retirement from the automotive giant late last year.

Buick Rainier (2004)
Cadillac CTS (2007)

"The company was good and that's what kept me there all those years," Saparamadu told CDN of his career at General Motors. However, when he was given the option of an early retirement he decided to take the chance.

"For a couple of years I was thinking of making a change because I knew that I needed to do something different at a different company," Saparamadu said, adding that the position at Maruti-Suzuki had simply been "excellent timing".

In his new role, Saparamundu will be the company's styling advisor responsible for a "small and very young" group of 22 designers, clay modelers and digital designers. He starts his new role at Maruti-Suzuki, which has more than 50 percent of the market in India, on September 7th.

Born in Sri-Lanka, Saparamadu studied at CCS in Detroit and started his career at GM soon after graduation. Rising through the ranks to become Assistant Chief Designer, Saparamadu worked on the interior and exterior design for Buick and Cadillac concept vehicles as well as the first Saturn L-Series, which was created in collaboration with Opel engineering in Morfelden while he was on a two year assignment in Germany.

Saparamadu also worked on other GM concept vehicles during that time, emphasizing brand characteristics within each project, and was promoted to Lead Designer in 1994.

His appointment to Design Manager in 2002 saw him lead the teams that developed the Cadillac and Saab crossover vehicles as well as an electric vehicle for the Cadillac brand. The Saab 9-7X design came from an early concept sketch that he prepared for Bob Lutz in 2003, which had been inspired by Buick's first SUV, the 2004 Buick Rainier, also penned by Saparamadu. More recently, he led the Perceptual Quality team for the award-winning Cadillac CTS.