Kia design boss Peter Schreyer, recently elevated to become one of three presidents with the Korean brand, has climbed another step on the corporate ladder.
No longer content to let Schreyer work his magic with one brand alone, Hyundai-Kia has announced that the German designer's duties will extend to overseeing the styling of both brands.
The Hyundai group will be looking to capitalise on the talents of Schreyer's team, which has seen new models in the Kia range take out the Red Dot Design and iF Design awards in recent years.
The appointment comes as part of the Hyundai-Kia duo's new 'Brand Innovation based on Quality' strategy, which singles out visual design as a key element in winning buyers.
"Strengthening our fundamentals, especially in the area of design, is imperative to secure long-term competitiveness," Hyundai Motor Group's Woong-Chul Yang said.
"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. "
Both brands have achieved massive growth over the past decade, and while technological and quality improvements have played a vital role, strong design has led the way.
Schreyer's team introduced its new 'tiger nose' face and 'the simplicity of the straight line' style in 2006, while Hyundai has evolved its 'fluidic sculpture' language into an even sharper 'storm edge' style with the new Santa Fe.
“Mr. Schreyer brings a wealth of experience in design from the global auto industry and has a deep understanding of the Hyundai Motor Group", Yang added.
"These values will help build the foundation needed to make Hyundai and Kia leading global top automakers.”