“iF Design Award” Jury Member & Famous Automotive
Designer James Shyr Joins Huaren Technology
Recently, the renowned Chinese American automotive designer James Shyr officially joined Huaren Technology
R&D Co., Ltd. to serve as the Chief Design Officer (CDO). Mr. Shyr has worked for many world-famous
automakers in leading design roles. He was the Director of Design at GM China-PATAC Design Center and a
member of GM’s prestigious Global Design Leadership Team (GDLT). He also served several times as a member of
the jury for the “iF Design Award”, known as the “Oscar” of the industrial design community. Within the
industry, he is considered to be a Godfather of Design.
Mr. Shyr has a strong background and exceptional insights in areas including automotive design, product
planning, and brand building. He has unique perspectives into innovative design and perception of products.
He also insists that product design should be integrated and be scenario and user-experience driven.
Vehicles designed by him set trends in the industry and sell well in China and around the globe, and they
have had a profound influence on automotive design today. In his nearly 30-year career as a designer, Mr.
Shyr has designed more than 50 mass-production models and concept vehicles, covering almost all mainstream
segments and body styles including sporty cars, SUVs, MPVs, sedans, crossovers and vans. To date, there are
nearly ten million vehicles on the road designed by James Shyr.
Mr. Shyr graduated from the Art Center College of Design in California, which is one of the top art and
design schools in the world and also one of the top 3 cradles for automotive design masters. He started his
career in France with Arthur Blakeslee at the Centre de Style of Automobile Citroen, then the Toyota
Industrial Design in the United States, followed by Yulon-Nissan Motor in Taiwan. While with Nissan, he was
also then elected into the Nissan Design Strategy Board to represent ASEAN Region. And later, moved to GM’s
China-PATAC Design Center. Mr. Shyr was also invited to serve as a member on the jury for the “iF Design
Award” several times, together with international celebrities in various areas including design, business, and
education. The “iF Design Awards” recognize and encourage innovation and conceptual thinking on multiple
fronts and disciplines.
While serving as Director of Design at GM China-PATAC Design Center, Mr. Shyr led the design of all the models
of GM in China including Cadillac, Buick, and Chevrolet. He was also appointed as an executive member of GM’s
Global Design Leadership Team (GDLT), the highest design decision committee worldwide within General Motors
Corporation. His influence could be seen on all GM models in China launched from 2002 and the decade that
followed, as well as on many GM models launched in North America and other regions of the world. This laid a
solid foundation for GM’s status in China today in terms of both products and designs. Today, China is not
only the world’s biggest auto market, but also the most important overseas market for GM.
In China, Mr. Shyr conceived the ground-breaking thinking: “Chinese designs must have their origin in Chinese
ideology”. He integrated the best parts of the authentic Chinese culture into automotive design to produce the
graceful yet distinguished Asian models. The Buick GL8, designed under his leadership, was a big hit
immediately after it was launched. Although belonging to the same architecture, the Asia version of Buick GL8
is totally different from its North American counterpart. It put more emphasis on the ride and user experience
of Chinese consumers, and therefore quickly become an iconic
executive-business vehicles in China. After the design of the 1st Generation Lacrosse, Mr. Shyr continued to
lead the same team to design the 2nd Generation Buick LaCrosse, breaking geographical boundaries by
integrating the best designs and resources from GM around the globe onto a single vehicle architecture . This
model has also become the first “global model” of the exact same design launched simultaneously in China and
North America in the history of GM and laid the foundation and template for GM to design and develop
subsequent “global models”.
Led by Mr. Shyr, GM’s PATAC Design Center gradually grew from a regional center to a center of international
caliber. The size of the center increased from just over 20 people to nearly 200 people. It cultivated
numerous key designers for China’s auto industry which provided the base for many Chinese automakers to embark
on their internationalization journey. Therefore, it is known as the “Whampoa Military Academy” in China’s
automotive design community.
Embracing the new era to explore the new frontiers
Here is what the media said about him: “If we talk about automotive design in the Chinese context, there are
several Godfather-like figures that we can’t ignore, and James Shyr is definitely one of them.”
Being able to join Huaren Technology when the mobility style of mankind is about to have major changes is a
great honor says Mr. Shyr. “We’re doing things that no one has ever done before. Breaking the mold is the
most exciting thing. This is our opportunity and our mission in the new era. We should embrace it without
any hesitation. We should embrace the new era and work together to explore the new frontiers,” he said.
After joining Huaren Technology, Mr. Shyr is already beginning to build an international crossover team
including industry veterans from UK and Germany as well as top Chinese designers and talented designers from
North America. In addition to product design, as a member of the company’s Executive Committee Mr. Shyr will
also get involved in other activities including product planning and engineering design during the process.