GM Design Europe
On June 24th, GM announced its plans of opening a new European Design Center in Rüsselsheim, Germany in January 2006. The state-of-the-art Rüsselsheim design center will be the 12th design center that GM's Global Design operates around the world.
One day earlier on the other side of the Pacific, GM's CEO Rick Wagoner confirmed at a news conference in Shanghai, that the auto maker's plans to invest $250MM in a design center with Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp (SAIC).
By announcing 2 major design initiatives in 2 days, GM is trying to demonstrate their commitment to design and product as the key to their turn-around (it worked for Nissan), rather than incentives (although the "Employee Discount for Everyone" is working so well that they are considering to extend it)
... if nothing else, having really cool design centers might help attract some design talent.
Related: The rise of Shanghai [internal]