GMC's design head adds Buick duties

LOS ANGELES — GMC design head Helen Emsley has been given responsibility for Buick as well, GM’s design chief has confirmed.

“Helen is the right person to do it because she has this innate ability to pull a team together and all pointing in the same direction,” Michael Simcoe told Automotive News this month at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

He said that Emsley, who was born in Yorkshire, England, is also the right person to ensure the brand’s design reflected its global reach, which includes a huge presence in China.

Emsley replaces Bryan Nesbitt, 47, who takes a new role as a global design strategist for GM, a spokesman for Buick said. Nesbitt has headed Buick’s global design since July last year.

Emsley, 51, was named one of Automotive News‘ 100 Leading Women in the North American Auto Industry in 2000 and 2015.

She joined GM in 1989 after studying at London’s Royal Academy of Arts. She moved to the U.S. in 1998 to manage GM’s color and trim studio in the automaker’s Technical Center in Warren, Mich.

Emsley designed the interior of the 2014 Corvette Stingray and was given responsibility for the interior design of GM’s trucks before being promoted in 2013 to head of GMC design.

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