Autos of Interest: I didn’t mean to give the impression that the design was in any way less than gorgeous.

Parkinson: No, not at all.

Autos of Interest: But it’s just as you said. Initially, after seeing it only in photographs, I was concerned. Then I saw it in person, at the Los Angeles Auto Show, and it was a whole different story. I have probably 200 shots I took of it — it actually is a very photogenic car — but in person you get the depth and complexity of the rear.

Parkinson: Yeah, you and I are on the same wavelength there. That’s what we want. I always hope that people’s first response is a little unsure. But I don’t ever want someone to say, “Wow, I hate that.” I don’t want that to be the first response.

Autos of Interest: It seems that the surfacing on cars, including Chevrolets, is becoming complex to the point that pictures can’t convey everything that’s going on. You need to sort of move to see some of the undulations on the surfaces and the creasing, to let the light dance over it. I often marvel at the effects you can pull off.

Parkinson: I think Malibu is a great example of what you just mentioned. It is really difficult in one view, one image, to really capture the expression of that vehicle. We really worked our hardest to get images that we could share with the press with the ability to express that car for what it is. But, in the end, you have to see the vehicle on the road which is its natural state. When we’ve seen it here in Design, the way we look at it on the patio, when you walk by it, it is just amazing to see how the reflections play off of the surfaces that you could never express in a one-view image.

I think that’s really where we’re going with Chevrolet. We are being very, very expressive. A lot of us have memories of where Chevrolet was when we were young and how we saw Chevrolet, how exciting it was to see the newest and latest and greatest Chevrolet hit the road. That’s what we’re aiming for today.

People can get quality and everything they want from a number of manufacturers but not everyone’s able to deliver on personality.

Autos of Interest: I’ve read recently that some Corvette influence would be injected into Chevrolet’s designs, across the board. Is that a fact?

Parkinson: Yeah, we have an extremely strong icon for the brand in Corvette. You’re not going to see a Malibu with the track time of a Corvette but we want that spirit to be in the Malibu, in the Sonic, even, in the right way, an HD Dually Silverado pickup. It’s going to be expressed very differently in a pickup, in an HD Dually, but there is going to be an unmistakable family resemblance, that they belong in the same showroom, the same family. Just as exciting as a Corvette, in their own way.

Autos of Interest: Goes back to what you were saying about the bowtie and the strong DNA that ties it together. Your time is important but just another couple questions, if I may. Do I understand correctly that you are also involved with GMC?

Parkinson: No, Helen Emsley runs GMC. In my past, I was involved with GMC but, right now, it’s Chevrolet only.


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