Legendary Designer Peter Schreyer Named President of Kia


  • Peter Schreyer Picture

    Peter Schreyer Picture

    Kia announced on Friday that Peter Schreyer, the company's chief design officer, has been named president of the company. | December 28, 2012

Just the Facts:
  • Legendary auto designer Peter Schreyer, who is credited in some circles with redefining the car for the 21st century, has been named president of Kia.
  • It is an unprecedented move, marking a rare elevation of a designer to a top executive position within an automaker and the first time that a non-Korean has held the post of Kia president.
  • Schreyer, a former chief designer for Audi and Volkswagen, has led the transformation of Kia with such products as the Kia Optima and Quoris.

SEOUL, South Korea — Legendary auto designer Peter Schreyer, who is credited in some circles with redefining the car for the 21st century, has been named president of Kia.

It is an unprecedented move, marking a rare elevation of a designer to a top executive position within an automaker and the first time that a non-Korean has held the post of Kia president.

Schreyer, 59, a former chief designer for Audi and Volkswagen, has led the transformation of Kia with such products as the Kia Optima and Quoris.

Kia said in a statement on Friday that Schreyer is "committed to continuing design-led development" of the brand.

The Bavarian-born designer, whose impressive portfolio includes the Audi TT and the Volkswagen New Beetle, is known for shaping Kia's "Tiger nose" family look.

Professor Dale Harrow, chairman of the Vehicle Design Department at the Royal College of Art in London, told The New York Times that "Peter's controlled and intellectual approach to car styling has redefined the car for the 21st century."

When Schreyer moved to Kia as its chief design officer in 2006 it was called the equivalent of a "big-time athlete opting for the expansion team," by The New York Times.

Schreyer has said that because Kia had no tradition to build on, it offered a chance to create a brand image from the ground up.

When Schreyer was hired by Kia, the company said the designer's "central task will be to mold the future face of the brand."

Schreyer was Audi's chief designer between 1994 and 2002. From 2002 to 2005, he was the chief designer for Volkswagen.

Edmunds says: A major promotion for Schreyer that is likely to have ripple effects throughout the industry. The buzz is that this may be the century of the auto designer.

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