Published on September 21st, 2016 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Peter Schreyer Marks 10 Years with Kia Motors
Peter Schreyer is marking ten years of leading new car design for Kia, a period during which the Korean brand’s global sales have risen from around 1.1 million cars in 2005, to 3.05 million in 2015.
Peter Schreyer has been the mastermind of Kia’s design revolution over the last decade, a shift which has fundamentally altered the way in which the company’s models are perceived around the world. Having joined Kia Motors in 2006 as Chief Design Officer, Peter Schreyer is now President and Chief Design Officer of Kia Motors Corporation.
Establishing Kia’s new image
Kia had been making improvements for a number of years up to 2006, the year in which Peter Schreyer joined the business as Chief Design Officer. The brand introduced the new European-built cee’d and its unique 7-Year, 150,000 km warranty to Europe in the same year, and expanded its global manufacturing capabilities as new models entered production.
Customers around the world were opening their eyes to the value and quality of Kia cars – and Peter Schreyer’s fresh design viewpoint provided the impetus for the transformation of the brand and its image, matching Kia’s increasingly global outlook.
Peter Schreyer explains: “When I started at Kia, it was important that we established an identity and a consistent feeling across the brand. But the story of how our new vehicles came to life is about so much more than just aesthetics. It involves intricate choices in how complex ideas work together to create something that generates an emotional response.”
Changing perceptions of the Kia brand
The 2010 Kia Optima, one of the first Kia models to be designed entirely under the direction of Peter Schreyer, is seen today as the catalyst for the recent design-led transformation of Kia’s product range. As well as offering new technology and greater refinement than its predecessors, the Optima’s design added depth to the Kia model line-up and fundamentally changed the way people saw the Kia brand in markets all around the globe. The newest generation Optima, launched earlier this year, also retains this unique personality.
The future of Kia design
Design has played a key role in transforming the perception of the Kia brand and its products over the last few years – and the company will continue with this design-led approach for many years yet. New launches in new segments over the coming years, and the ongoing rebirth of new model generations, mean that Kia design will continue to be at the heart of the company’s success in future.
Schreyer concludes: “What really excites me is how fast this company is evolving. The brand as you knew it 10 or even five years ago is gone. You can see it in even the smallest detail. You can feel it in the sophisticated textures and materials. And you experience it in ways that are inter-related and connected. As we move forward, it’s important that change is an improvement and not just for the sake of looking different.”