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Retiring GM design chief reflects on being black, bankruptcy, and bringing back beauty

Lester Graham
Ed Welburn worked as an auto designer at GM for 44 years.

Ever since Ed Welburn designed cars as a toddler, it seemed like destiny would lead him to working at General Motors. The first time he entered the company’s campus as an employee was an emotional experience he would never forget.

“Just coming through the gates,” Welburn recalled on Stateside. “It was like going to Disneyland.”

Welburn retires as the highest ranking African American executive at any auto company worldwide. Among his career highlights are the Camaro redesign and the latest Corvette model. Car and Driver magazine calledhim "the man who brought beauty back to GM."

Welburn spoke with Lester Graham on Stateside about his time at GM.

Edward Welburn is the vice president of global design at General Motors. He will be retiring in July after 44 years with the company.

Stateside is produced daily by a dedicated group of producers and production assistants. Listen daily, on-air, at 3 and 8 p.m., or subscribe to the daily podcast wherever you like to listen.
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