Hyundai and Kia have announced the appointment of Peter Schreyer as Global President of Design Centres for both South Korean manufacturers. The news follows Kia’s announcement that Schreyer was to become its first non-Korean president.
In his new role, Schreyer will oversee both Hyundai and Kia’s design centres around the world, as well as the future direction of both firm's long-term design languages. This will ensure that both brands share design resources more efficiently, yet maintain the differentiation between the models of each respective firm.
Talking about the appointment, Woong-Chul Yang, Vice Chairman of Hyundai Motor Group’s Research and Design Centre in Korea said: “Design is not just the most visible aspect of the car, but it’s an area customers have a strong emotional connection to.”
Schreyer’s appointment is part of a new strategy aimed at bolstering Hyundai-Kia's position as one of the world's biggest carmakers. In a speech delivered on January 2 by Mong-Koo Chung, Chairman and CEO of Hyundai Motor Group, Chung confirmed Hyundai's new mantra of ‘Brand Innovation based on Quality.’
At present, Hyundai and Kia have their own design philosophies, ‘Fluidic Sculpture’ and ‘The simplicity of the straight line’, respectively.
Hyundai introduced its curvaceous design philosophy, ‘Fluidic Sculpture’, with the Sonata in 2009, while Kia’s design language, called ‘The simplicity of the straight line’, arrived in 2006.
The latter was led by Schreyer, and comes full circle this year with the arrival of the new Kia Carens MPV – the last car in Kia’s line-up to receive the current Kia family look.