Peter Schreyer has just been appointed as President of Hyundai Motor Group to oversee Hyundai and Kia design centers in order to streamline operations and synergize both brands. In what appears as a series of firsts, Schreyer was promoted barely two weeks ago to President of Kia Motors Corporation; he is the first non-Korean to hold the position. His new position is a clear direction by the group to strengthen its global focus and go head on with European giants BMW and Volkswagen in terms of design and quality.

During a New Year speech Mong-Koo Chung, Chairman and CEO of Hyundai Motor Group, announced 'Brand Innovation based on Quality' as the year's management direction.

"Strengthening our fundamentals, especially in the area of design, is imperative to secure long-term competitiveness," said Woong-Chul Yang, Vice Chairman of Hyundai Motor Group’s R&D Center in Korea.

Born in Germany in 1953, he took his education at the Industrial Design School of Applied Arts in Munich and the Royal College of Art in London; he then served as design head in both Audi and Volkswagen for more than two decades before joining Kia in 2006 as Chief Design Officer. Schreyer's design contribution to Kia based on the 'tiger-nose' concept has successfully garnered recognitions such as the red dot design award and iF design award.

"Mr. Schreyer brings a wealth of experience in design from the global auto industry and has a deep understanding of the Hyundai Motor Group. These valuable qualities will help build the foundation needed to make Hyundai and Kia leading global top automakers," added Mr. Yang.

Both Hyundai and Kia have come a long way in terms of design; under their own unique design philosophies, 'Fluidic Sculpture' (2009) and 'The simplicity of the straight line' (2006), respectively. Schreyer is expected to lead the long-term design vision and strategy for both brands, but will also cement the differentiation strategies according to each company’s brand direction.