Inside the studio: General Motors, Advanced Design UK


Car Design News paid a visit to General Motors Advanced Design UK in Leamington. While the work itself is shrouded in secrecy, CDN discovered a studio relishing its role as creative friend to the mothership in Michigan

“There’s always this question regarding advanced studios. Are you there to win projects? Or are you there to influence the mothership? We are here to present different ideas, inspire the team and influence,” says Julian Thomson, design director of Advanced Design UK, General Motors. Until 2022, the American giant was conspicuous by its absence on the continent. At least in terms of design studios. 

For a company with a global footprint, this felt like an omission. In re-establishing itself this side of the Atlantic, GM fitted-out a bright new studio in Leamington Spa and scooped up the respected Thomson to lead it. Armed with a technically advanced workplace, a chequebook and blank team sheet, the designer quietly went about assembling a group that could play the role of influential friend to the headquarters in Michigan. With such an appealing remit it comes as no surprise to find several familiar faces in the ranks.

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