Buffing the bowtie for the global stage

NEW YORK -- When Bryan Nesbitt moved to General Motors from Chrysler, he came in rhapsodizing about the old Chevrolet models he loved as a kid.

He was doing pretty much the same thing at the New York auto show today.

In this case, Nesbitt was talking about the new Malibu -- the wider track, the more aggressive stance, the slippery aerodynamics, the "shrink-wrapped" sheet metal.

It only took the slightest suggestion to get Nesbitt up from the interview table for an impromptu walk-around, pointing out the Camaro cues -- taillights, rectangular gauges.

Bryan Nesbitt, with the 2013 Malibu, seems to be back in his groove as head of Chevy exterior design after an awkward stint as head of the Cadillac brand. Photo credit: GM

Nesbitt seems to be back in his groove as head of Chevy exterior design after an awkward stint as head of the Cadillac brand.

"I love the job," Nesbitt says. "It's all my guys, and I worked with them all before."

But the job is more than reveling in old SS models.

Chevy needs to build a brand in Asia, replacing Daewoo in Korea and rolling out the global Malibu in the all-important Chinese market.

In Europe, Chevy has to progress from the rebadged Daewoos it had been selling as a budget-car play.

"In this corridor between North and South America, it's a very, very well-established brand," he says. "The reality is we have to build a lot of awareness and identity over on the other side of the world."

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