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News of May 16, 2002


Martin Smith Appointed Director Of Design At Opel

Hans Seer moves into retirement after a career at Opel spanning four decades

Russelsheim - Martin Smith has been appointed Director of Design at Adam Opel AG, effective May 1, to succeed Hans Seer. Previously, Smith, 52, had served as Vehicle Line Design Director responsible for the Astra and its derivatives. Since joining the company in 1997, he has also played a role in the improvement of interior design quality at Opel as head of the Cross Carline studio, of Color and Trim and of Design Quality. Additionally he led the design direction for the Speedster concept and production vehicle, and for the G-90 and Snowtrekker concepts.

Martin Smith

Photo: Opel/GM

"Since joining the company my goal has been to help re-establish Opel as a design leader in the European industry. Hopefully, I am in an even better position to do that now," Smith said. "We have made great strides recently. We've developed a new form language with the Opel Speedster - one which has an identifiable dynamic presence on the road - and with the new Vectra we have taken this new Opel look into our volume production vehicles. The interior quality of the Vectra has been recognised as a major step forward. We will be building on this progress with all our future vehicles."

Martin Smith has had a long and successful career in the German car industry dating back to 1973 when he joined Porsche AG after receiving a Masters Degree in Automobile Design from the Royal College of Art in London. After joining Audi in 1977 he designed the original Audi Quattro and went on to hold a variety of Design positions culminating in Head of Interior Design. He moved to Opel in 1997.

Martin Smith is married and lists his hobbies as car design, skiing and outdoor sports.

Smith's predecessor Hans Seer, who turned 65 in March, is retiring after a career with Opel spanning some 40 years. He joined the company in 1962 and between 1966 and 1971 he served as deputy studio manager for the successful Kapitšn, Admiral and Diplomat models. He went on to become Chief Designer in the Research Studio where he was responsible for racing and rally cars, for future studies and for concept vehicles. In 1977 he assumed creative design responsibility for the Monza and Kadett. From 1986 to1992 he headed the design teams for the Kadett and Astra ranges. Among his numerous achievements, Hans Seer was also responsible for the Opel Calibra and 1995 Vectra designs. He was appointed Director of Design in 1996.

(May 13, 2002)

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