"It's not going to be the same as it was before," Frank Saucedo tells me. Saucedo is the director of GM's new California Concept Center in North Hollywood. When he says "before," he's referring to GM's old California design center in Newbury Park, which closed in 1996. He was chief designer there before moving on to become chief designer at Volkswagen's California studio in Simi Valley. I'm talking with him because he's come back to the General with a very clear mission. As he explains it: "To do the unconventional." But in the face of GM's continually slipping market share, I'm very curious how Saucedo and Co. plan to face the inherently high expectations they'll be met with when they open shop sometime in April. Frank seems undaunted by this. More than anything, he just seems energized with the responsibility of building his organization from the ground up. Then he adds, as if to defy all the pundits, "It's a different GM."
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