|Ed Welburn is outside of GM's Design Studio with the Cadilliac Ciel, a show car.|
While most kids can only visualize what they see, as it relates to selecting an occupation, Ed Welburn, GM’s Chief Car Designer, like President Obama was destined to become a trailblazer. Both barrier breakers grew up in a time period where people of color were not expected to venture into non traditional fields or for that matter, to be at the top of their game in their respective fields.Like with President Obama, once today’s generation become aware of Welburn’s accomplishments and contributions, it’s only a matter time before they become inspired to dream big … beyond becoming the flavor of the day in the world of Reality Tv or athletics.
Welburn, like the President, is at the top of his game. He is the chief designer for GM, overseeing every car design that the automaker builds both here and globally. What a major feat for someone who grew-up at a time, when he didn’t even realize he was steeping outside of the norm, becoming a car designer, a black one at that!
As we all know, a vehicle in a sense defines who we are and what we think of ourselves (or at least what we would like others to think of us). Today many consumers are returning to GM again, since Welburn took the helm, helping to put the swag back into GM’s latest designs. This is something that has been missing for well over two decades with the automaker. And as we all know, great designs lead to sales, which in turn means money in the bank for the automaker. Now the world is beginning to see the fruits of Welburn’s post-bankruptcy design leadership in such vehicles as the 2014 Chevy Corvette Stingray to the Cadillac CTS-V Coupe to President Obama’s fleet of limos.
Recently, we caught-up with Welburn in Atlanta for an exclusive one-on-one video interview, while he was away from the Motor City, Detroit. The jet setter was in town for the Trumpet Awards, which will air live in late March on TvOne.
On this day he was being honored with such notables as Charlie Wilson, Chaka Kahn and Atlanta’s Mayor Kasim Reed. The Trumpet Awards acknowledges the accomplishments of those who have significantly contributed to enhancing the quality of life for all individuals, while at the same time augmenting the richness of this global society by partnering with the cause of justice and equality of all, according to their website.While Welburn has been instrumental in using form and function to shape the future of GM’s vehicles, he has had the same impact with personally developing two of today’s rising stars in the field of automotive design, Crystal Windham and Andre Hudson, both who have been featured on this site and have had the privilege of working for the barrier breaker. Windham, who works for GM, and Hudson, who now works for Hyundai, are both considered to be just a handful of today’s minority auto designers sprinkled throughout the industry.