General Motors is expected to announce later today the promotion of Bryan Nesbitt, currently the vice president of GM's North American design team, to general manager of Cadillac.
Nesbitt is probably best known as the designer of the initially popular but ill-fated Chrysler PT Cruiser (production of the wagon ends next December) and its GM competitor, the Chevrolet HHR. Since defecting from Chrysler to GM in 2001, Nesbitt has also played a part in designing vehicles like the Saab 9-X concept, Chevrolet Malibu sedan, Pontiac Solstice roadster, Cadillac CTS coupe and sport wagon, and the Lambda (GMC Acadia, Buick Enclave, Saturn Outlook, and Chevrolet Traverse) crossovers.
Chrysler hired Nesbitt in 1994, where he worked with Bob Lutz on the PT Cruiser. He came to GM in 2001 as head of design at Chevrolet. He also held positions as head of design in Europe and executive director of design, body-frame integral architectures, for all of GM's North American brands before stepping into his current role as vice president of design in North America in 2007.
Nesbitt's promotion is unusual because designers are not often given executive positions. The designer's promotion suggests GM is finally letting design, rather than finance, take more prominence going forward. Nesbitt will replace interim Cadillac managers Steve Hill and Steve Shannon, both of whom will be reassigned, on August 1, according to GM spokesman Terry Rhadigan. Nesbitt will report directly to Bob Lutz. As for Nesbitt's styling responsibilities, they could be added to vice president of design Ed Welburn's plate.
Rhadigan said a formal announcement would be released sometime Thursday.
Source: Automotive News