Hyundai has appointed Albert Biermann to head up the test and development operations for a new line of high-performance Hyundai and Kia models planned for introduction from 2016.
Biermann is the former vice president of engineering at BMW’s M performance car division. He will join the Hyundai Group on 1 April 2015. He will be based at the company’s R&D centre in Namyang in South Korea, where he will oversee a range of engineering projects relating to ride and handling, safety, reliability and NVH (noise, vibration, harshness).
In his new role at Hyundai, the 57-year-old German will be spearheading the development of a new line of high-performance cars as well as providing input to help improve the dynamic capabilities of models across the Hyundai and Kia line-ups.
Biermann’s appointment is described as a crucial step in Hyundai’s plans to become a technical leader in ride and handling, and to produce vehicles that the Korean car maker says will "lead their respective segments for driver engagement."
Sources confirm Biermann will become the South Korean car maker’s second-highest foreign executive, after its German-born design boss, Peter Schreyer.
Commenting on the appointment, Biermann said: “I couldn’t be more excited to join Hyundai Motor Group. It is a company I have watched closely as it has taken on its key competitors and quickly established a strong customer base. 2015 is a key year for the brand with the launch of many all-new models.”
Biermann has been at BMW since 1983. His more recent achievements include heading the development of the latest generation M3, M4, M5 and M6, along with a limited line-up of M Performance models.
Dirk Haecker is stepping into the position vacated by Biermann at BMW's M division. The former suspension engineer and chassis set-up expert currently heads up the German car maker’s driver training operations.
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