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Hyundai loses top U.S. designer

Fri, 09 Jan 2009

Hyundai's North American design chief, Joel Piaskowski, left the automaker on Dec. 31.

Piaskowski is credited as the main designer for the Hyundai Genesis sedan and coupe.

An industry insider says that Piaskowski left Hyundai to become head of design at Mercedes-Benz's advanced design studio near Carlsbad, Calif.

Piaskowski, 40, spent 13 years at General Motors working on Pontiac, Chevrolet, Buick and Opel vehicles before joining Hyundai in 2003. He designed many of Hyundai's recent concept cars.

A Mercedes-Benz spokesman was not able to confirm Piaskowski's hiring.

Richard Truett contributed to this report

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