The Automotive Hall of Fame will hold its 2017 Induction and Awards Gala Ceremony on Thursday, July 20 at Cobo Center to recognize four global automotive leaders for their contributions to the automotive industry. The award is the industry’s highest honor. This year’s inductees include Albert Bombassei, August Fruehauf, Jack Roush and Edward Welburn, recently retired General Motors Vice-President of Global Design.
“I was excited initially, but it has really grown from that. I don’t think anyone could understand how much of an impact this is having on me. The passion I’ve had for automobiles since my childhood is based on the cars I saw while growing up. These legendary cars were designed by designers who are now in the Hall of Fame. It’s those designers that have been my heroes since my childhood,” Welburn said about being inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame.
“Now, I’ll be listed along with my heroes. It’s unbelievable the impact it’s having on me.”
Referred to as “the man who brought beauty back to GM,” Welburn is the highest-ranking African American in the global automotive industry. During his 44-year
Career, Welburn rose through General Motors’ ranks beginning as GM’s first ever African American designer to becoming the first African American to lead GM’s global design division, a position he held from 2003-2016.
“I was the first African American designer hired by GM and it wasn’t something that I thought about at the time. I just wanted to design cars,” said Welburn.
As head of GM Design, Welburn was GM’s sixth head of design and the first to lead the company’s design division on a global level. Welburn managed the designs of the latest Corvette, Camaro, Malibu, Buick LaCrosse and Enclave and Cadillac CTS and numerous concepts that include the Buick Invicta and Avista and Cadillac Ciel.