Friday, May 7, 2021

1st Black Car Designer Talks Auto Trends W/, ed welburn, jeff fortson
General Motors Vice President Global Design Ed Welburn

*Ed Welburn is to General Motors what Johnny Ives is to Apple. That is Apple Computers. Johnny Ives, like Ed Welburn, is the creative force behind his company, designing products that keep customers coming back.

Welburn, who retired on July 1, after breaking ever glass ceiling in his successful 44-year career, recently served as the global chief design leader at one of the world’s largest automakers.

Welburn was the first person [of color] at General Motors to rise to this position, making him the most influential black person in the auto industry.

Welburn, who was also the first black car designer to be hired by General Motors and the second to be work in the industry, has literally been responsible for generating billions of dollars for the automaker due to his creative designs, vision and quiet, but highly effective leadership style.

In a rare and candid radio interview, the creative genius goes one-on-one with auto enthusiast Jeff Fortson, the host of “Auto Trends with” for his show’s one year anniversary.

During our two-part interview, the Howard University graduate reflects on his career highs and lows, while being both a trendsetter and a pioneer in the auto industry.

We cover a range of topics, discussing everything from the personal influence a recent cultural icon who passed away had on him to the one major career concern his parents refrained from sharing to the leadership move he made to push his design team through the dark days of the automaker’s impending bankruptcy to the private moment he shared with President Obama that literally put the Secret Service on alert.

Moreover, during our in depth conversation, Welburn speaks truthfully about the real driving factor behind some of General Motors’ hits and misses — in terms of car designs.

Furthermore, several individuals who have been directly impacted by Welburn share their thoughts about the game changing design leader throughout the show. Surprisingly, the listeners will be familiar with the work of many of the individuals paying tribute.

Fortson says, “For a car nut like me, who spent many of weekends, as a kid, dragging my folks to the toy store, looking for the latest miniature Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars to add to my collection, I couldn’t have ever imagined that one day I would have an opportunity to talk extensively to a pioneering car designer like Welburn.

He not only looks like me, but it’s obvious his social conscience is keen in him. What an honor it is to have him kickoff my one year anniversary radio show, being that Mr. Welburn is at the top of his game in the design field.”

Saturday, July 9 and 16 (Show One)

Saturday, July 23 and 30 (Show Two)

Phoenix’s 1280-AM


3:15 p.m. EDT/12:15 p.m. PDT

KXEG App and TuneIn App (Smartphone and Tablet)

About Auto Trends with and Jeff Fortson

“Auto Trends with” is a Phoenix-based radio show executive produced by Jeff Fortson, editor and founder of, an online educational car-buying website. The 30-minute automotive show, which airs every Saturday, includes in-depth interviews with some of today’s industry influencers and pioneers.

The show also highlights the latest recalls and
new car reviews, too.

Fortson, the show’s host, has over 25 years of both automotive corporate and retail experience. He has also penned several extensive car-buying guides for Ebony, Black Enterprise and Essence, three of the premier magazines in the black community. In fact, in April 2009, Essence recognized him as a “The Top Guru for Sound Car-Buying Advice.”

His contributions and articles have also appeared in The Washington Post, Jet, and

Added to that, he has appeared on such programs as CNN and NPR,
serving in the role of an automotive analyst.





Jeff Fortson




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