Including the guy who transformed Hyundai's N division.
Hyundai and Kia have been on a roll in recent times. The year isn't even over yet and Kia has already posted its best annual sales in the US ever. As for Hyundai, it's also surging with segment-busting vehicles like the Santa Cruz pickup, not to mention its growing electric lineup. With so much going right, one would reasonably expect that Hyundai Motor Group would be happy with its current leadership team. Despite this, the company is set for a rumored reshuffle to end the year, and it's likely to happen later this week. The executives to be replaced are two individuals who have contributed significantly to the company's growth over the last few years.
According to The Korea Times, the automotive group is considering the replacement of overseas executives Peter Schreyer, the president and head of Design Management, as well as Albert Biermann, the president and head of Hyundai-Kia's R&D Division. Biermann has been instrumental in the growth of Hyundai's N performance brand which has given us models like the Veloster N and the new Kona N. These are highly respected new entrants, and that's little surprise since Biermann previously headed up BMW's M division. Schreyer has been just as influential. His previous experience working for Audi and Volkswagen helped shape the design of the Hyundai Group's existing lineup.
Where Korean vehicles were once bland, increasingly stylish and modern vehicles like the Kia K5, Hyundai Tucson, and Genesis G90 are just as sophisticated as their pricier rivals. Why, then, would these clearly talented execs be replaced?
"Hyundai Motor Group is highly inclined to appoint new faces at a time when the group is trying to transform itself into a mobility maker and not just an automaker," said a local industry source. Hyundai itself has not shared much information besides an official from the company saying the reshuffle will be conducted later in December. Clearly, this is a company not prepared to rest on its laurels as it looks to dominate in every facet of mobility. We expect more information to come to light in the days and weeks ahead.