Top African-Americans In The Auto Industry
Everyone loves a well-made car, but did you know that many of the executives working behind the scenes at the top companies in the auto industry are African American? And our history shows that this is nothing new; the automatic gear shift, the traffic light and the stick shift were all invented by African-Americans. Detroit was once one of the most important destinations for African-Americans migrating from the south because of its reputation for car manufacturing. But success for African-Americans in the auto industry came as a result of a hardship and hard work. Here are some of the present day movers and shakers who are literally driving the automobile industry.
Want to know more about African-American contributions to the auto industry? Pick up “Driven: A Tribute to African-American Achievement in the Auto Industry.” Who’s Who Publishing company’s latest compilation will focus on the African Americans who helped to build and maintain the automotive industry for which the ‘Motor City’ is best known.
Ed Welburn, Vice President of Global Design, General Motors:
In 2003, Ed Welburn was announced as the sixth design chief in GM’s 95-year history. Welburn, 59, began his GM career in 1972 as an associate designer in the advanced design studios, and held various positions at Oldsmobile, Saturn and Opel. In his previous post as executive director in charge of body-on-frame architectures for GM Design, which he held since 2001, Welburn was responsible for three body-on-frame studios that have overseen the design of trucks as the Cadillac Escalade, Chevy SSR and Hummer H2.
“This is part of a renaissance for General Motors. We have 10 design centers around the world and they are running flat out designing new products for the company. The whole team has been energized by all the changes that have been happening. They get energized, we do better work. They do better work and the whole company gets energized,” Welburn has said.