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GM Design honours Holden Efijy

Still on fire: The FJ-inspired Holden Efijy concept from 2005 was singled out on a GM release celebrating 85 years of its global designs.

Holden Efijy takes pride of place as GM celebrates design department’s 85th birthday

15 Jun 2012

GENERAL Motors has given the iconic Holden Efijy concept pride of place on a list of classic automotive designs from across the 85-year history of its global design department.

The automotive giant is this month celebrating the establishment of its designated design department in June 1927, which today includes 1900 employees working across ten global design centres – including Australia.

The GM celebration coincides with the 25th annual EyesOn Design Automotive Design Exhibition in Michigan this weekend, of which GM vice-president of global design Ed Welburn will serve as honourary chairman.

Mr Welburn, who is just the sixth person to have held the reins at GM design since its inception, said the team in place today was united around the theme of making an “emotional connection with customers”.

“What was true 85 years ago is still true today: A designer’s role is to create a beautifully executed exterior with great proportions to draw you in, and an interior environment that invites you into a relationship that develops and grows,” he said.

Clearly, GM sees the locally designed Efijy as an embodiment of this idea, since a release on the company’s global press site featuring a timeline of classics from across different eras used the outrageous, hot rod-inspired Efijy as its main accompanying image ahead of a host of other designs from around the world.

However, it seems the choice of image only indicates the Efijy’s classic status at GM and not an appearance at the exhibition, as Holden senior product communications manager Kate Lonsdale told GoAuto she knew of no plan to send the Efijy to the US.

Since its debut at the 2005 Sydney motor show, the Efijy – designed to invoke not only classic hot rods but also the most famous Holden off all, the 1953 FJ – has cemented its place as one of the all-time greats of Australian automotive design.

After the Sydney show, the concept toured North America and the Middle East and won the prestigious North American Concept Car of the Year Award in 2007.

The Efijy now resides at Holden’s Melbourne headquarters.

The team behind the Soprano Purple pillarless two-door was led by custom-car fan Richard Ferlazzo.

The radical, curvaceous body was based on Chevrolet Corvette underpinnings and features a supercharged version of the Commodore’s 6.0-litre V8 with 480kW/775Nm.

General Motors claims its design department is at the forefront of a global product “renaissance” that will see 70 per cent of its global portfolio replaced inside the next three years.

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