Kia design chief Schreyer named first non-Korean president

2013 Kia cee’d GT and pro_cee’d GT teaser 03.12.2012
2013 Kia cee’d GT and pro_cee’d GT teaser 03.12.2012

Acknowledging his huge achievements

Peter Schreyer has been named the first foreign president of Kia Motors Corp.

He left Volkswagen AG in 2006 to join Kia and since then the South Korean brand has vastly improved its designs. Before making this move, Schreyer considered Kia's designs as being "neutral". He set an objective to "give Kia a character and a family feel".

He managed to erase the company's previous non-descript image by replacing it with considerably bolder designs which include the now familiar "tiger nose" grille. His work can be noticed throughout the entire lineup, starting from the petite Picanto to the Forte and Optima sedans.

In a similar move, earlier this year Kia's sister company Hyundai hired former BMW designer Christopher Chapman to be in charge of the design center in U.S. Hyundai and Kia sales combined rank fifth in global car sales.

Although sporting a fairly attractive design, the local K9 rear-wheel drive flagship sedan hasn't been doing so well in terms of sales as last month Kia delivered only 405 units, representing less than a quarter of a projected 2,000 / month target. Next year Kia will start selling the car in international markets where it will get a new name (most likely not Quoris).

Source: Kia


  • Design has transformed global reputation of Kia brand
  • Schreyer first non-Korean to hold President post
  • Committed to continuing design-led development

Peter Schreyer, Chief Design Officer at Kia Motors and the man who has led the company’s design transformation has been appointed President – the first non-Korean to hold that title in the company’s history.

Schreyer, 59, joined Kia in 2006 from the Volkswagen Group to create a new design-led product strategy for the brand and quickly became known for his “Tiger-nose” family look.

Since then the design team has unveiled a long line of exciting concept cars and dramatic new products including the latest Sportage, the new cee’d family and larger models for sale in the Korean domestic and some overseas markets such as Optima, K7 and Quoris as well as mass-market models such as Picanto and Rio.

Schreyer has publicly commented on his commitment to Kia and his desire to remain with the company to continue the challenge of making Kia the most design-focused Korean car manufacturer.

In 2013 the last volume product in Kia’s range to come under his design philosophy – Carens – is due to be unveiled, complete with the Schreyer-inspired family look as well as the first sporty model to be added to the cee’d range.

Schreyer is married with two children and is originally from Bavaria in Germany. He studied in Germany and at the Royal College of Art before becoming part of the Volkswagen Group’s design team and contributing to the distinct appearance of several VW and Audi models including the Passat and the Audi TT.

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Comments (6)

Kakumbaz Kakumbaz
Haha! Interesting! So Kia hired an Audi designer and Hyundai hired a BMW designer. Best of both worlds huh? Looks like the Korean arsenal is finally pulling out some bold cars..
Dec 29th, 2012 5:18am
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techie69 techie69
Much more talented than the box designs by Ralph Gilles(Chryler/Dodge)!
Dec 28th, 2012 10:27pm
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Microice Microice
he gave kia a good design direction and i wait to see how he'll do at this new position
Dec 28th, 2012 6:25pm
2 0
GSS5_23 GSS5_23
there's no question that schreyer has done great things for kia. but after seeing the k9, i have lost any respect i had for him in the past.
Dec 28th, 2012 4:23pm
1 5
nizdxb nizdxb
Dec 29th, 2012 1:19pm
0 0
pzxpjy pzxpjy
Hyundai/KIA has a Chairman. So what is the President? And what is the CEO? I'm really confused...
Dec 28th, 2012 3:11pm
3 0