Kia has signed up Peter Schreyer, Volkswagen's advanced design boss and designer of the original Audi TT, to head its own worldwide design operation.
Schreyer, who made his name during an eight-year stint at Audi, is expected to bring a Teutonic design edge to the Korean manufacturer's vehicles. One of his first tasks will be to help Kia to create a stronger family identity, and make its styling more attractive to European buyers. He will take up his new position on September 1.
Kia ECO Euisun Chung said, "Mr Schreyer's track record over many years speaks for itself and we are looking forward to working with him to lay out a long-term strategy that will centre on moulding a unique design lineage for the entire Kia line-up."
Schreyer said, "Good design not only transmits clear messages through the products, but also solidifies the company's brand positioning and overall company image. I'm looking forward to the task ahead of me."
Schreyer had been tipped to leave VW after the job of leading the firm's Berlin studio went to Skoda designer Thomas Ingenlath. But the switch will still be seen as a coup for Kia, the UK arm of which was the fastest-growing car brand in Britain last year.
Kia's new signing will make his first public address at the Paris motor show in late September.