Published on October 27th, 2020 | by Subhash Nair


The BMW 3.0 CSL Homage Designer Just Joined Kia

Kia have been making waves in the industry, alongside their sister company Hyundai. Most of the attention they get comes from the fact that their car designs are just short of being premium, without costing quite as much. It’s no secret that they’ve been hiring from the best automotive outfits. Previous hires include people from Audi, BMW, and Infiniti. Now another designer from BMW has defected to join this South Korean carmaker.

His name is Won Kyu Kang, and he joins as Vice President and Head of the Kia Design Innovation Group, reporting directly to Karim Habib, another ex-BMW designer.

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Won Kyu Kang will be in charge of ‘advanced design planning’ involving exterior and interior designs across Kia’s entire portfolio. Interestingly, Kang was briefly in Hyundai, but spent most of his career with BMW. Notably, he was behind the BMW 3.0 CSL Homage back in 2015. Might be some interesting things to come to Kia in the near future.

Here’s the press release with more.


Kia Motors Corporation has appointed Won Kyu Kang as Vice President and Head of the Kia Design Innovation Group. Starting in his new role in November, Mr. Kang will be based at the brand’s design headquarters, Kia Design Center in Namyang, Korea and will report to Karim Habib, Senior Vice President and Head of Kia Design Center.

Specializing in advanced design planning, Mr. Kang will lead the strategic development of Kia’s design by giving shape to future design plans in both exterior and interior design across the entire product portfolio. His appointment is the latest development in Kia’s move to establish a leadership position in electrification and capitalize on new design opportunities. Advanced design is seen as key element of this, with electric and electrified vehicles posing new challenges and opportunities in form and architecture.

An alumnus of the Transportation Design course at the ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, California, Mr. Kang brings with him 15 years’ experience in exterior design. He has overseen a range of exterior design projects, including research into merging premium vehicle design with future mobility technologies.

His most recent role was Creative Director at BMW Group Designworks in Shanghai, China, where he led the design development process for a range of automotive products. He previously spent much of his career at BMW Group, and was the lead exterior designer for the 2015 BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage concept.

The Kia Design Center in Namyang, Korea is the hub of Kia’s global design network, working closely with the brand’s regional design centers in China, Europe and the U.S. The design headquarters oversees all aspects of Kia design, from conceptualization and modelling to styling and development of color and materials.

Mr. Kang is one of a number of high-profile design appointments made by Kia Motors in recent years as the brand further strengthens its design capabilities for the years ahead. Under its ‘Plan S’ strategy, Kia aims to establish a leadership position in the future automotive industry, drawing on R&D expertise in mobility, electrification, connectivity, and autonomy.

Won Kyu Kang career highlights:

2017~2020: Creative Director, BMW Group Designworks Shanghai

2015~2017: Project Lead / Senior Exterior Designer, BMW Group

2005~2015: Exterior Designer, BMW Group

2000~2001: Interior Designer, Hyundai Motor Company

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