On January 2, the Hyundai Motor Group Chairman and CEO Mong-Koo Chung announced that “brand innovation based on quality” would be the world’s fifth largest automotive group’s new direction.
A few days earlier, on December 28, Kia design chief Peter Schreyer was the first non-Korean to be appointed President of the brand – a remarkable achievement for the 60-year old German and an acknowledgement of his contribution in the carmaker’s success since joining Kia in 2006.
Today, Chung appointed President of Hyundai and Kia’s design centers, in order to oversee to coordinate the two brands’ resources and, presumably, perform some of his magic on Hyundai’s new cars, too.
“Design is not just the most visible aspect of the car but it’s an area customers have a strong emotional connection to. It is at the center of our efforts to enhance our brand value”, said Hyundai Motor Group’s R&D Center Vice Chairman Woong-Chul Yang.
Yang added: “Mr. Schreyer brings a wealth of experience in design from the global auto industry and has a deep understanding of the Hyundai Motor Group. These values will help build the foundation needed to make Hyundai and Kia leading global top automakers.”
Led by Schreyer, Kia’s design team has created a brand-new family look called “the simplicity of the straight line”, which has been applied to its new models with success and won the red dot design award.
Since 2009, Hyundai has its own design language, the “fluidic sculpture”. The all-new Sonata that was launched that year was the first car to be created under this new philosophy.
Schreyer has managed to make Kia cars look appealing in a very short period of time. A new challenge lies ahead of him; it will be interesting to see how he will deal with it…
By Andrew Tsaousis