Former BMW Designer Becomes New Head Of Kia Design

Industry News / 16 Comments

He's responsible for some of BMW's coolest concepts.

South Korean automaker Kia has been on a tear these last few years, proving it can compete on a global stage with sharp designs and outstanding driving dynmaics. A key component of its success is a string of smart, strategic recent hires, many of whom have come from lauded European brands like BMW. Albert Bierman, previously instrumental to BMW's M performance brand, helped make the Kia Stinger into the great-driving car that it is. Kia's current Chief Designer, Karim Habib, spent his career prior to 2019 working for BMW, Daimler, and Infiniti.

Now, Kia has poached another great talent from BMW: Won Kyu Kang, now Vice President and Head of the Kia Design Innovation Group. Kang will work at Kia's design headquarters in Namyang, South Korea, and report to Chief Designer Karim Habib.


Kia says Kang will aid in the strategic development of its design "by giving shape to future design plans in both exterior and interior design across the entire product portfolio." Specifically, he will help Kia try and take a leading role as it makes a push towards electrification, meaning he'll likely play a major part in developing one or more of the planned EVs called for by Kia's "Plan S" strategy.

BMW's current design language might not be universally loved right now, but Kang's work there speaks for itself. As the Creative Director at BMW Group Designworks in Shanghai, China, he was the lead designer for the 2015 BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage Concept. It's an absolute shame that the CSL Concept was never put into production, given how it stacks up against the company's current production designs.


"I am honored to join the Kia design team, particularly at a time when the automotive industry is facing such a radical shift," said Kang. "I believe Kia will play a major role in defining the new era of design with a wide range of electrified products and a visionary mobility roadmap for the future."

"I'm excited to be part of this journey with the committed design team at Kia to further strengthen its product line and design strategy," he continued. "I am confident that the knowledge accumulated during my career will contribute to the ongoing transition of Kia, and I am looking forward to working with the team in new creative directions."

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