Bloomberg Anywhere Remote Login Bloomberg Terminal Request a Demo

Bloomberg

Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world.

Company

Financial Products

Enterprise Products

Media

Customer Support

  • Americas

    +1 212 318 2000

  • Europe, Middle East, & Africa

    +44 20 7330 7500

  • Asia Pacific

    +65 6212 1000

Communications

Industry Products

Media Services

Follow Us

Kia Names Ex-Audi Designer Schreyer First Non-Korean President

Dec. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Kia Motors Corp. promoted its chief designer Peter Schreyer to the role of president, the first foreigner to attain the position at the company, as the South Korean automaker seeks to elevate its global profile.

German-born Schreyer, hired from Volkswagen AG in 2006, was promoted to president from executive vice president, Kia said in a statement today. The appointment makes Frankfurt-based Schreyer, who remains chief design officer, one of three presidents at the company.

“The promotion shows Kia’s key focus areas shifting from production and cost efficiency, which were traditionally considered more important, to design and research and development,” said Shin Chung Kwan, an analyst at KB Investment & Securities Co. in Seoul. “It also symbolizes Kia’s urge to advance as a global company -- showing a foreigner could make it to one of the top positions.”

Kia and Hyundai Motor Co. are both headed by Chairman Chung Mong Koo. His son Chung Eui Sun hired Schreyer when the younger Chung was co-CEO of Kia six years ago.

Kia and Hyundai Motor are stepping up efforts to move upscale and away from their reputations as builders of cheap, utilitarian cars. Schreyer, the designer of the Audi TT Coupe, was hired to overhaul Kia’s lineup and allow the Seoul-based automaker to charge more for its models.

‘Tiger-Nose’

At VW, Schreyer was head designer for the namesake brand and oversaw the development of the new Beetle, introduced in 1998. The 59-year-old studied transportation design at the Royal College of Art in London, joined Audi in 1980 and later became the brand’s head of design.

Schreyer has revised Kia’s sedan lineup since joining the company. His team introduced a common front shape with the “tiger-nose” grille for Kia models in 2007, now featured by almost all the company’s vehicles including the Optima, the revamped Sorento sport-utility vehicle, the Soul crossover and the Forte compact.

Kia, 34 percent owned by Hyundai Motor, is targeting to sell 2.75 million units in 2013, the Korea Economic Daily reported on Dec. 26, citing an unidentified Hyundai official. Hyundai, South Korea’s biggest automaker, expects to beat its full-year sales forecast of 4.29 million cars, Chief Financial Officer Lee Won Hee said Oct. 25.

To contact the reporters on this story: Siddharth Philip in Mumbai at sphilip3@bloomberg.net; Rose Kim in Seoul at rkim76@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Young-Sam Cho at ycho2@bloomberg.net

Please upgrade your Browser

Your browser is out-of-date. Please download one of these excellent browsers:

Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera or Internet Explorer.