Free Press to honor GM’s Ed Welburn with lifetime achievement award – Detroit Free Press
The Detroit Free Press is proud to announce that Ed Welburn, General Motors’ design chief, is the first recipient of the Detroit Free Press Automotive Difference Maker Lifetime Achievement Award for his decades of important design work and for his influence and success in breaking down corporate and social barriers.
The Detroit Free Press Automotive Difference Maker Awards presented by Bridgestone honors those in the industry who make a profound and lasting difference for their companies and communities.
As only the sixth GM design chief, Welburn created a new kind of design team that has studios around the globe and is more open and inclusive to new views than any that came before it.
He built a team that creates more vehicles, in a wider variety of segments and body styles, than ever before in the company’s history. Under his leadership, GM has sharpened the character of its core Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, Buick and Opel brands, and created designs that stand alongside anything from the company’s glory years in the 20th Century.
He isn’t just the leader of GM design. He’s a passionate fan of the designers who came before him. He understands he’s the trustee of a heritage that began with Harley Earl. He revels in talking about the tradition he inherited, and is too modest to acknowledge how much he has added to it.
Welburn is revered as a car design maestro, but is also credited with helping break down racial barriers in corporate America.
He is well known for his reverence of past designers and still seems like a starstruck kid in the presence of the Buick Y Job, the industry’s historic first concept car, created by Earl.
To hear him talk, you’d never know he led a team that created cars that will be remembered with the same reverence.
Welburn will join five other Difference Makers – to be announced early next month – at an awards ceremony March 15 at the Detroit Athletic Club in downtown Detroit.
Join us for networking, cocktails and a strolling dinner in honor of the 2015 Detroit Free Press Automotive Difference Makers. Go to https://tickets.freep.com/e/auto-awards/tickets.