Former BMW designer becomes new head of Kia DesignOctober 27, 2020
Over the past few years, the South Korean carmaker has had to prove that it can compete on the global stage by offering cars with its own design and outstanding driving dynamics.
A key component of KIA’s success is a string of smart, strategic employees, many of whom come from well-known European brands such as BMW. Albert Biermann, who previously played an important role in the creation of the BMW M Performance brand, helped make the Kia Stinger. The current chief designer of KIA, Karim Habib, worked at BMW, Daimler and Infiniti until 2019.
Now the Koreans have lured another great talent from BMW: Won Kyu Kang, now vice president and head of the Kia Design Innovation Group. Kahn will work at Kia’s design center in Namyang, South Korea and report to Chief Designer Karim Habib.
According to KIA, Kang will assist in the strategic development of the company’s design “by shaping future exterior and interior design plans across the entire product portfolio.” In particular, it will help Kia try to take the lead as it promotes electrification, which means it will likely play an important role in the development of one or more of the planned electric vehicles outlined in Kia’s Plan S strategy.
BMW’s current design language may not be to everyone’s liking right now, but Kang’s work speaks for itself. As Creative Director of BMW Group Designworks in Shanghai, China, he was the lead designer for the 2015 BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage Concept. It is an absolute shame that the CSL Concept never went into production, considering how it fits in with the company’s current production projects.
“I am honored to join the Kia design team, especially at a time when the automotive industry is undergoing such a radical shift,” – said Kang. “I believe Kia will play an important role in defining a new era of design with a wide range of electrified products and a forward-looking mobility roadmap for the future. I am thrilled to be part of this journey with Kia’s dedicated design team to further enhance the product line and design strategy. I am confident that the knowledge gained over my career will drive Kia’s ongoing transition, and I look forward to working with the team in new creative directions. ”
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