Guess who's back.
Back in April, we were surprised to learn that former Lamborghini designer Luc Donckerwolke had left Hyundai Motor Group for "personal reasons." Donckerwolke joined Hyundai Motor Group in 2016 as design chief of the Genesis luxury brand before overseeing the designs of Hyundai Motor Group's three car brands as Chief Design Officer.
Under his leadership, Hyundai, Kia, and Genesis have produced some stunning new models, from the new, radically re-styled Hyundai Sonata and Palisade to the Genesis GV80, the luxury brand's first-ever SUV. He also has an impressive car design portfolio outside of Hyundai, having designed the Lamborghini Murcielago. We couldn't help but worry about how his abrupt departure will affect Hyundai's future design direction.
Fear not, however, because Donckerwolke has returned to Hyundai Motor Group in a new role as the company's Chief Creative Officer. He retains his position as Executive Vice President of Hyundai Motor Group. In this new role, Donckerwolke will "be in charge of design-related communications about topics such as Genesis brand, dedicated BEV lineup brand Ioniq, and fuel cell vehicles."
"It is with great honor and pride that I start this second chapter at Hyundai Motor Group to consolidate creativity. In collaboration with design teams, I will communicate diversity and richness of Group brands' design, which is not only technologically dynamic but also customer-centric," said Luc Donckerwolke, Executive Vice President and CCO of Hyundai Motor Group.
As Chief Creative Officer, Donckerwolke will collaborate with design centers to help with development and design communications for concept cars at Hyundai, Kia, and Genesis. He will also collaborate with industry-leading designers and "spearhead design studies for future mobility." Hyundai is confident Donckerwolke's new role will "enhance the brand position for Hyundai Motor Group."
Design work at Hyundai and Genesis will still be overseen by SangYup Lee, Senior Vice President and Head of Hyundai Global Design Center and Genesis Global Design, while Karim Habib, Senior Vice President and Head of Kia Global Design, will continue to lead future designs at Kia.