Welburn has been responsible for 2,500 GM staff in its design centres across the world, from America to India to China, and has overseen the styling of every GM vehicle, from trucks to concepts to production cars.
To celebrate the remarkable longevity of one of the world’s most important designers, Vauxhall held a 'Meet the Presidents' evening at its huge experience centre by Gate One at the festival.
Joining Welburn on stage, against a backdrop of the new Vauxhall GT Concept shown at Geneva this year, was Mark Adams, the Brit in charge of design for the brand.
“Every designer wants to design a Corvette, but it’s not easy”, said Welburn. “It needs to perform but you need to have great space inside.”
“The hardest cars to design are small cars”, Mark Adams told assembled guests. “There’s the fuel economy, packaging cost, feasability…”
If anyone knows how to do it, however, it’s Adams; the Corsa and Astra run Ford close for top spot in the British sales charts time and again.
For both Wilbur and Adams, the Sixties marks their favourite decade for car design, yet both are excited about future challenges. “Electrification is going to transform the cars we’re designing”, said Adams. “I’m excited about autonomous driving challenges”, added Welburn, although his favourite GM car of all time remains the ’63 Corvette Stingray split-window Coupe.