How Detroit's Garden Grew

Design was the driving force behind GM's explosive market share rise from the 1930s to the '60s.

Design was the driving force behind GM's explosive market share rise from the 1930s to the '60s.

Pages here from comprehensive magazine article on GM by LIFE, 1951,

Two enduring quotes on the Automobile Design Profession (ADP):

Bob Lutz, former GM vice chairman interviewed on CBS's 60 Minutes in 2006: "During the parade of GM’s greatness, in the 50s and 60s, Design Ruled and the finance people ran behind to try to reestablish order and pick up the pieces. We just lost the focus on Design."

ZDNET.com's Harley Earl's Influence on Steve Jobs article by Oliver Marks: "The initial designated head of Design at General Motors, later becoming vice president, the first top executive ever appointed in design of a major US corporation. His importance in US business history cannot be overstated, with many parallels to the way Steve Jobs' leadership's blend of aesthetics, marketing, and technology blazed a trail of innovation.... GM still has a fabulous legacy to build on as it finds its footing after its bankruptcy. It's ironic that many of Apple's market successes are arguably based on business concepts that it (GM) chose to discard."