Our creative legacy

GM Australia Design is an in-house specialist service combining creative talent and leading edge technology to evolve automotive design solutions that display flexibility, excitement, value, leadership and passion.

Innovation & Design

A portfolio Design Excellence

  • Buick Avenir

    Buick Avenir
    2015

    Designed in collaboration with GM North America, and built at GM Australia's advanced design studio in Port Melbourne, the Avenir - French for future - leverages Buick's unique styling legacy to explore a vision for a modern flagship sedan.

  • Chevrolet Bolt EV

    Chevrolet Bolt EV
    2015

    Collaborating with GM Korea and GM North America, GM Australia Design contributed to the development of the Chevrolet concept and was responsible for the construction of the functional show car. The Bolt EV concept melds the proportions and functionality of a compact crossover with Chevrolet's electrification prowess, established by Volt and Spark EV.

  • Chevrolet Niva

    Chevrolet Niva
    2014

    Fabricated by GM Design Australia, the Chevrolet Niva is a compact SUV off-roader that is set to enter production in Russia in 2016. The redesigned model was showcased at the 2014 Moscow showcasing the global contribution of GM Design Australia.

  • Chevrolet Adra

    Chevrolet Adra
    2014

    Designed in collaboration with GM India, the Chevrolet Adra is a global compact SUV specifically for the emerging Indian market. Holden supported the development of the concept and was responsible for the construction and fabrication of the show car which debuted at the New Deli Auto Show. The Adra boasts stunning design, all-round visibility, high ground clearance, generous interior space and emotional appeal.

  • Colorado

    Colorado
    2011

    The stunning five-seat crew-cab, styled and built in GM Design Australia's Port Melbourne Design Studio, foreshadowed the production version of the next generation model launched in Australia in 2012. The Colorado features a proud sports-performance design flair and plays heavily on the vehicle's powerful stance and wide, athletic proportions.

  • Chevrolet Cruze Hatch

    Chevrolet Cruze Hatch
    2010

    Designed in GM Design Australia's Port Melbourne design studio, the Chevrolet Cruze hatchback. The showcar showcases a sweeping coupe roofing and short overhangs was a precursor to the production model which was also designed by GM Design Australia.

  • Chevrolet Aveo RS

    Chevrolet Aveo RS
    2010

    Fabricated in GM Design Australia, the Aveo RS showcar illustrates global GM design cues such as the dual element grille, round taillamps and fender flares. However the showcar also turns up the attitude with low openings and lower mouth trimmed in brushed and polished aluminium.

  • Chevrolet Bolt EV

    GMC Denali XT
    2008

    Performance-styled hybrid sport-utility truck, powered by an E85 ethanol-capable engine, showed off a muscular form highlight by a wide stance, minimal overhangs, large wheels and a low roof profile.

  • Coupe 60

    Coupe 60
    2008

    Stunning two-door pillarless coupe honoured 60 years of innovative design and engineering at GM Holden, highlighted future trends with supercar inspired cockpit layout, carbon fiber components, full flat underbody, rear air diffuser, 6 litre V8 with active fuel management and calibrated for E85 ethanol.

  • Chevrolet Bolt EV

    Chevrolet Orlando
    2008

    A seven-seat multi-purpose vehicle with distinctive sport utility-like design, adaptable seating and impressive interior space. Carried Chevrolet signature design language into a new vehicle segment.

  • Chevrolet Bolt EV

    Chevrolet Ultra WTCC
    2006

    This ready-to-drive, diesel powered race car study was a Chevrolet muscle car re-invented for Europe. Its bold, aggressive persona took Chevrolet body language to the extreme.

  • Chevrolet Bolt EV

    Efijy
    2005

    Wild 21st Century hot rod reincarnating the 50s FJ Holden. Radical pillarless custom coupe with supercharged Corvette engine and underbody, loaded with cutting edge technology. Showcase emotion, imagination and a passion for design and engineering in captivating fashion.

  • Torana TT 36

    Torana TT 36
    2004

    New millennium hot hatch paid home to 70s icon Torana A9X, merged Holden design and rear wheel drive savvy with GM global tech resources. Signposted key future car proportions, front wheels forward, minimal overhang, high belt lines, high deck.

  • Project Marilyn

    Project Marilyn
    2004

    An engineering study which examined the possibility of producing a Monaro convertible using current model architecture. Despite Marilyn's undoubted open top market appeal and clever engineering, financial analysts decided that costs involved could not be justified.

  • SST

    SST
    2004

    Targeting street machine and hot rod enthusiasts, this 225kW V8 custom pickup was based on the new millennium Holden One Tonner. It's cleverly integrated, low-slung stepside body, contemporary in execution, recalled the street rods and custom picks of the 1950's.

  • SST

    SSX
    2004

    The most complete concept vehicle yet devised by Holden was a low ride height, four-seater sports lifestyle machine which combined high output V8 muscle and AWD handling character with cargo-carrying convenience via a large rear hatch and extendable load floor.

  • Cross 8

    Cross 8
    2002

    The production-ready recreational AWD crossover concept announced a new era in niche production at Holden. With a wide stance, fender flares, four doors, high ride and a long wheelbase, it blended Ute functionality with V8 sedan handling and performance.

  • UTEster

    UTEster
    2001

    This street credible show-off demonstrated the flexibility of its VU Ute base design, offering the open air options of a removable glass roof and sliding rear window. A custom cabin treatment in complementary yellow and black foreshadowed future sports styling cues.

  • Sandman

    Sandman
    2000

    Back to the future recreational panel van concept paid lighthearted tribute to the iconic 70s surfmobiles with all-Aussie Mambo murals, flame motif, "Burnin' Love" interior treatment, lavish rear lounging area.

  • YGM1

    YGM1
    1999

    A compact sport utility concept which showcase Holden Design capabilities in a global arena for the first time. Described as a 'youth culture, niche market, snowboards-carrying, jet ski-towing, look-at-me machine', it was engineered in Japan and wore a Chevrolet bow tie.

  • Coupe Concept

    Coupe Concept
    1998

    Game-changing design study which famously prompted the return of the Monaro. A pure deliverable design with fast-flowing surfaces, showing off accentuated body curves, raked roofline, extended door, elongated glass areas and stylishly abbreviated rear end.

  • Torana GTR-X

    Torana GTR-X
    1970

    Sharp surfaced, avant garde aerodynamic form with a long sleek hood and concealed headlights. Powered by a 186S six, fitted with four-wheel disc brakes. Intended to test the market for a locally designed and built two-seater sports machine.

  •  Hurricane

    Hurricane
    1969

    Ambitious experimental research car. Wedge-shaped, mid-engine with powered canopy. Stood just 990mm high with futuristic digital displays, rear view CCTV, auto climate control, 'astronaut' power elevator seats.

What we do

GM Australia Design is one of the most advanced automotive studios in the world, and one of the two design studios in the world that can fabricate a fully functioning car from just a sketch. We play a vital role as a genuinely innovative and creative contributor to major General Motors vehicle design programs.

How do you begin to design the Holden VF Commodore?

  • Step 1

    The process:
    Step 1

    Designers created concept sketches to match the architecture strategy.

  • Step 2

    The process:
    Step 2

    From hundreds, they chose ten concepts and developed eight scale models of 1/3 actual size.

  • Step 3

    The process:
    Step 3

    Finally, they chose two design themes and developed full-size clay models.

  • Step 3

    The process:
    Step 4

    Designers and engineers refined the models, concentraing on dimensional accuracy, evolving and incorporating data into the design process.

  • Step 5

    The process:
    Step 5

    Finally, a single design theme was decided upon.

  • Step 6

    The process:
    Step 6

    The master model was photographically scanned to capture final design intent.

  • Step 7

    The process:
    Step 7

    Then the model was converted into math surfaces using an 'Alias tool' Data was used by engineers to develop final productions components and tooling.

  • Step 8

    The process:
    Step 8

    All along, the visualisation team helped speed up the process by generating photo-realistic 3D images for evaluation and scrutiny well before prototypes were built.

  • Step 9

    The process:
    Step 9

    Interior development happened in parallel through concept sketch and math development phases to clay, interior and digital visualisation models.

  • Step 10

    The process:
    step 10

    Colour and trim specialists developed interior and exterior colour palettes and paid attention to every single detail, harmonising surfaces, textures, colour, grains and gloss to produce a well- integrated finish.

  • Step 10

    The process:
    final result

    The result? A universally appealing design with a real sense of Australian pragmatism.

Who we are

The tight-knit GM Australia Design team of 100+ people working out of Australia's largest automotive design studio at Holden HQ in Port Melbourne has an enviable track record and its skilled resources are right up there with the best in the world.

Creative Roles

Innovation & Design - Design - Creative Rolls - Clay Modelling

Clay
modelling

Clay modellers are responsible for creating visionary and concept models for Holden and its global GM partners.
Innovation & Design - Design - Creative Rolls - Exterior and interior creative design

Exterior and interior creative design

These designers were originally called 'stylists'. Nowadays, although the role of initiating new concepts for the appearance of vehicle exteriors and interiors remains central, their task is far more demanding.
Innovation & Design - Design - Creative Rolls - Advanced Design

Advanced
design

The brief here is to work on the development of future vehicles and undertake automotive projects that diverge from Holden's normal product portfolio.
Innovation & Design - Design - Creative Rolls - Visualisation

Visualisation

The group works closely with designers to help them visualise the math model. It creates high quality digital media to understand a design, generates a large quantity of images to explore it and provides the functionality to enable it.
Innovation & Design - Design - Creative Rolls - Design Fabrication

Design
fabrication

A creative hard model specialist team supports the creation of concept and show car models for public and
internal use.
Innovation & Design - Design - Creative Rolls - Digital Sculpting

Digital
sculpting

This discipline evolved with the development of electronic surfacing software and the process delivers exterior and interior digital models.
Innovation & Design - Design - Creative Rolls - Colour and trim design

Colour and
trim design

This team fulfills a brief to design finishes for vehicle surfaces, inside and out, and to create vehicle moods. Tools of design are soft trim - fabric, leather and carpet - interior and exterior colour, decorative finishes and surface texture.
Innovation & Design - Design - Creative Rolls - Design Quality Specialists

Design quality specialists

Design Quality and Verification drives integrity and quality of interfaces through the development of virtual and physical properties. The group assists in identifying potential issues and works to develop quality solutions.

Design education

The Australian automotive industry is a small player in world terms. That doesn't change the fact that Australian-trained designers are recognised throughout the international automotive design community for their creativity and 'can do' work ethic.

Australian universities offering Industrial Design courses include

Victoria

Monash University
RMIT University
Swinburne University of Technology

Australian Capital Territory

University of Canberra

New South Wales

University of Technology Sydney
University of New South Wales

South Australia

University of South Australia

Queensland

Queensland University of Technology