Top African-Americans In The Auto Industry

January 7, 2011  |  

Michael Burton, Director of Interior Design, Buick Enclave:

Burton has been an automotive designer for almost 30 years and he is one of the few car designers who has worked at all three domestic automakers including Ford, Chrysler and GM.

Part of Buick’s new look and feel can be attributed to his creative work as director of design. For the past 10 years, Michael has worked for General Motors. During that time, his focus has been on several Cadillac programs; he is currently responsible for the Front Wheel Drive Interior platforms of GMC, Saturn and Buick.

According to the Amsterdam News: He composed songs for his wedding and then sang them. He designed his wedding altar and he designs his own clothes. What’s more, he is the minister of his church. But it’s a lucky occurrence for General Motors that Burton got bit by the automotive bug when he was just a child.

“We had to break that stereotype [of the Buick appealing to an older demographic]. How do we do that? We have to have a vehicle that was a functional and had all the best attributes of a sports utility vehicle but had all the amenities of a car. First, we have to produce a vehicle that offers a visual experience and impassions people. It starts there. People now say ‘This is a Buick?’ They see it on the street and follow it to the dealership. They get in it and see that it is now more relevant than they ever thought it was,” said Burton.

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