DETROIT -- General Motors is shuffling its design executives for the second time in a year, promoting the lead designer for the Holden brand in Australia to the top design job at Cadillac and Buick.
Andrew Smith, now Holden's design director, will become executive director of global Cadillac and Buick design, based at GM's technical center in Warren, Mich., the company said in a statement.
He replaces Mark Adams, who last fall arrived in Detroit as the top designer for Cadillac and Buick after leaving as vice president of GM Europe Design and the brand champion for Opel and Vauxhall.
Now, Adams will return to Germany to pick up his old role as head of GM Europe Design as well as "champion for Opel/Buick brand strategies and design language," GM said.
That will make Adams a key player in solving what GM CEO Dan Akerson described last week as "probably the most complicated Rubik's Cube" within GM: sorting out the brand strategies of Opel and Buick.
Today, GM sells both brands on mostly shared vehicle platforms, and wearing different designs, in the world's three largest markets: North America, China and Europe.
Akerson said GM is working harder to deepen the "synergies" between Opel and Buick and better take advantage of the company's costly engineering resources in Germany, where the architectures that underpin most Opels and Buicks are developed.
Dave Barnas, a spokesman for GM Design, said: "Buick and Opel are developing more joint strategies together. There is a strong desire to have a single point of contact for Buick and Opel initiatives globally from a design and brand perspective."