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Whos Where: Peter Schreyer to head Kia Design

Mon, 31 Jul 2006

In what's regarded as a major boost for Korean car maker Kia, it has been confirmed that Peter Schreyer will be moving from Volkswagen AG to lead Kia's global design operation. Schreyer will oversee the design activities of the company's regional design centers in Frankfurt, Los Angeles and Tokyo as well as the Namyang Design Center in Korea.

While Schreyer's move to Kia comes across as a big surprise for many within automotive design circles, his departure from Volkswagen doesn't. His difference in design philosophy with Volkswagen Design Chief Murat Gunak was central to a deteriorating working relationship, and when he was passed over in favor of Skoda design boss Thomas Ingenlath to head up Volkswagen's new advanced design studio in Berlin last year, his departure seemed only a matter of time.

Schreyer is best known for his work of eight years at Audi, where he was responsible for establishing a classic Bauhaus-inspired styling, still a foundation of their vehicle lineup. His work on the Audi A6 and the TT is still regarded as some of the most influential automotive design in recent time.

With Schreyer's move to Kia, not only will he mastermind the brand's styling direction and the coordinate design language of the entire lineup for the future, but his presence alone brings an instant respect for Kia's automotive design for the competition to worry about. He will most likely be based at Kia's design studio near Russelsheim, and with his stay in Germany, Kia's european studio is sure to get a lot more production vehicle responsibilities. He will report to Mr. Chung eu-sun, the chairman of Kia.

53 year old Peter Schreyer graduated from the Royal College of Art, London, in 1980, with a Master of Transportation design degree.