General Motors Corp. has opened a new European Design Center in Russelsheim, Germany.

Housed in GM's Russelsheim campus, the new center will expand GM's European design operations, the auto maker says.

"Design is already one of the most crucial elements of our business and will continue to be in the future," says Carl-Peter Forster, president-GM Europe.

"Therefore, our new facility provides our designers with the location, atmosphere and tools they need to maximize the creative process and design our future vehicles."

About 350 people work in design operations in Russelsheim, focused on products for Saab Automobile, Adam Opel GmbH, Vauxhall Ltd. and Saturn.

Saturn’s new roadster, the Sky, was inspired by the Vauxhall VX Lightning concept, created at GM’s Advanced Design Studio in England.

GM’s global design group operates 11 centers around the world. Ed Welburn, GM's global vice president-design, leads the organization.