Noted automotive designer Wulin Gaowa is named the first director of the all-new GM China Advanced Studio, which opens later this month as part of the GM China Advanced Technical Center in Shanghai.

“Having a person like Wulin who has an innate understanding of Chinese culture and market needs, as well as a strong background in automotive design, will ensure that our new organization fully addresses the needs of our local customers,” GM China Group President and Managing Director Kevin Wale says.

Gaowa joins GM China after serving as advanced design director, team exterior and interior, at Beijing Automotive Industry Corp. (BAIC).

She began her automotive design career with DaimlerChrysler in 2000 and held positions at the Mercedes-Benz Technology Center in Sindelfingen, Germany. She also worked with Italdesign-Giugiaro in Italy.

“As China exerts a greater influence on global automotive design, the work of Wulin and her team will be critical in helping GM remain a trendsetter locally and around the world,” says Ed Welburn, GM’s global vice president-design.

The GM China Advanced Studio has a digital visualization center and secure indoor and outdoor viewing and exhibition areas. The studio will gather and analyze domestic design trend data as part of GM’s global design efforts.

Gaowa earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial design at the Central Academy of Arts and Design in Beijing and a master’s degree in transportation design at the Fachhochschule Pforzheim in Germany.

In 2010, she was named one of the “10 Best Young Designers of China” by the China Industrial Design Assn.

She reports directly to Bryan Nesbitt, vice president-design for GM International Operations.