Design

Ex-BMW M Design Chief Now Heading Up Kia's Styling Department

Tiger Nose trumps Hofmeister Kink, apparently.

Regardless of what your opinion on Hyundais and Kias are, there's no denying their design capabilities have gone from strength to strength since they started hiring European designers. What began with the brilliant poaching of Peter Schreyer from the Volkswagen Group ended up paving the way for stunning production and concept cars (most recently the incredible Proceed extended hatch design study). Now, though, that momentum is in the hands of a former BMW M design chief by the name of Pierre Leclercq.

A Belgian car designer with nearly 20 years of industry experience, Pierre Leclercq unsurprisingly has quite an impressive resume at hand. Having studied at Art Center College of Design before landing a role at Ford's Ghia studio, Leclercq has since headed up exterior design at BMW (with the second-gen X5 and original X6 being accredited to him), before controlling the design direction at BMW's M division and later jumping to the Chinese SUV maker Great Wall Motors. With this new role at Kia, Leclercq will now be leading the Korean carmaker's long-term design direction when he officially starts before the end of September 2017.

Kia has made considerable strides in a relatively short period of time, so Pierre Leclercq will be under some pressure in order to maintain that momentum. Still, it's pretty obvious that there's a phenomenally talented team of craftspeople and interior and exterior designers across Kia's myriad studios peppered across the globe, so a figure of Leclercq's prominence and experience shouldn't have any problem with keeping Kia at the top of its game design-wise. Put simply, if you're already impressed with the shapes Kia is sculpting at the moment, keep a very close eye on the Korean carmaker's future projects.

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