After designing BMWs, as well as luxury cars for Infiniti, Canandian-Lebanese designer Karim Habib has joined Kia Motors. This comes after the 49-year old car designer left Infiniti last month. With it, Kia Motors has appointed Habib as senior vice president, and head of the Kia Design Center.
Through his new post, Kia said that his appointment will 'enhance the design competitiveness' of the brand and its products. Habib will oversee the work done by the exterior, interior, color, and material teams and help establish the future design strategy and direction of the Kia brand. Habib will directly report to Luc Donckerwolke, executive vice president and chief design officer of Hyundai Motor Group.
“Kia is a growing, ambitious brand on a determined path toward electrification and mobility innovation. I am thrilled to be a part of this transformation to strengthen the Kia brand further into the future of the automotive industry, which promises to be full of challenges and opportunities,” said Habib.
Donckerwonkle, on the other hand, said that Habib will be asset to the company. “We highly appreciate Karim’s talent and experience. He is joining Kia at a crucial moment to project the brand into the future of mobility and to reinforce the young-spirited and motivated design team which has won numerous international design awards,” added Donckerwonkle.
Habib brings with him over twenty years of experience designing automobiles for premium brands. As previously mentioned, he first started work in BMW in 1998 as an exterior/interior production designer. He worked up his way up the ranks and was appointed as Senior Designer for the BMW Group from 2004 – 2007.
He also had a brief stint with Daimler when he was hired as senior manager for advanced design from 2009 – 2011. The following year, he went back to BMW as Head of Design up until 2017. Afterwards, he went to Infiniti where he was appointed Executive Design Director until his resignation last August 2019.
With Habib's expertise in designing premium automobiles, as well as having experience in penning German and Japanese cars, the Canandian-Lebanese will surely bring something fresh and new to Kia.