Interview: Michael Simcoe, senior VP design, General Motors

James Mclachlan Michael Simcoe

In an exclusive interview with Car Design News, General Motors senior VP of design Michael Simcoe talks about the role of design within the company, the Warren campus extension, and the complexities of electrification 

Kicked off by Chevrolet and now led by flagship brand Cadillac, General Motors has dived fully into electrification. But the transition, one of the most ambitious and aggressive in the industry, has not been without its challenges. Running alongside the electrification project is a gargantuan extension of the company’s Warren campus with 360,000 sq-ft of new studios and workspaces. Car Design News caught up with VP of design Michael Simcoe in his legendary Saarinen-designed office to discuss the near-term future for GM, the power of design within a corporate structure and why getting his start at GM Australia was crucial to his career.

Car Design News: How will you configure the new studio spaces?

Michael Simcoe: Architecturally, it’s laid out in a way that means the designers and the sculptors are all in one place, and there’s a lot of hoteling for program teams, anyone who’s needed. But essentially, they’re built around the chief engineer for the program. And they’re all beholden to the physical piece on the plate. And so if you’ve got the chief engineer with the product, then you’ve got control of the business end of the product.

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