Liz Wetzel will help teams understand each GM brand.
Liz Wetzel, a 19-year GM employee in engineering and design, will head up the new Global Design Brands department, serving as a liaison between marketing, advanced product development and GM's regions.
Wetzel will serve as a window for GM design boss Ed Welburn to see the regional portfolio development process for all products in time to fix gaps and adjust strategies. The move is another element in GM's broadening push to harmonize global product and brand development.
"This new position will help our teams understand each brand and allow concepts and proposals to develop," Welburn said in an interview at the Frankfurt auto show last week. "It's something I've wanted to create since I moved into my position."
Before GM formally integrated global development this year, regions often created vehicles outside of corporate design parameters, said Bryan Nesbitt, executive director of design for GM Europe.
"They might know what a Chevrolet is," Nesbitt said. "But they would start to do their own Chevy and the face wouldn't look right. Then the program might be far along before someone sees the face and says it doesn't work."
Wetzel comes to the position from her role as Director of International Joint Venture Programs, where she was responsible for exterior design on GM's Theta, or compact SUV, architecture and Zeta, GM's global rear-drive architecture.