September 6, 2019 / 12:41 PM / a year ago

GM appoints new director for Shanghai design studio

BEIJING, Sept 6 (Reuters) - General Motors Co has appointed a veteran BMW designer to lead its advanced design studio in Shanghai, a hub for developing future models for the world's biggest vehicle market and beyond.

According to three company officials familiar with the matter, Harry Sze, who last month left BMW Group Designworks Shanghai as a creative director, is expected to be officially named as early as early next week as head of GM's studio.

Competition among established and startup companies in China has led to a bull market for top vehicle designers.

Sze, an American national, has worked at BMW Group Designworks for six years in Shanghai and Newbury Park, California. Prior to BMW, Sze spent several years with startups such as Fisker Automotive based in Anaheim, California.

Sze would replace Colin Phipps, who recently resigned as the studio's director. It was not immediately clear why Phipps left GM, but according to his LinkedIn account, Phipps in August joined electric car startup Nio as head of design in Shanghai.

GM's Shanghai studio is one of four such studios and is tasked with working on design concepts for the company's future models, including those for electric vehicles. The other three are in Melbourne, Los Angeles and Warren, Michigan. (Reporting By Norihiko Shirouzu in Beijing; editing by David Evans)

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