Peter Schreyer marks 10 years with Kia Motors
Peter Schreyer is marking ten years of leading new car design for Kia, a period during which the Korean brand's global sales have risen from around 1.1 million cars in 2005, to 3.05 million in 2015.
Schreyer has been the mastermind of Kia's design revolution over the last decade, a shift which has fundamentally altered the way in which the company's models are perceived around the world. Having joined Kia Motors in 2006 as Chief Design Officer, Peter Schreyer is now President and Chief Design Officer of Kia Motors Corporation.
Schreyer explains: "When I started at Kia, it was important that we established an identity and a consistent feeling across the brand. But the story of how our new vehicles came to life is about so much more than just aesthetics. It involves intricate choices in how complex ideas work together to create something that generates an emotional response."
In the following years, this vision resulted in the establishment of a consistent design DNA across the growing Kia model line-up, with recognisable signature elements featured in a number of new designs, such as the tiger nose grille which can be seen in various forms on all Kia vehicles. Schreyer's direction has helped Kia establish a clear identity, raise brand awareness, and put into production a series of modern, progressive new car designs.
Schreyer's design philosophy is borne out of Korean inspiration: 'the simplicity of the straight line', which characterises every one of the designs he has overseen. The growth of a truly global network of designers has led to different interpretations of this approach, with design centres now established in California in the USA, Frankfurt in Germany, and at the company's Namyang R&D centre in Korea.
Schreyer's favourite designs from recent years include the Soul, which "changed the brand" with its stand-out looks and cool, alternative image; and the new Optima Sportswagon, a true "European lifestyle car" which went on sale on 15 September this year.
Design has played a key role in transforming the perception of the Kia brand and its products over the last few years - and the company will continue with this design-led approach for many years yet. New launches in new segments over the coming years, and the ongoing rebirth of new model generations, mean that Kia design will continue to be at the heart of the company's success in future.
Schreyer concludes: "What really excites me is how fast this company is evolving. The brand as you knew it 10 or even five years ago is gone. You can see it in even the smallest detail. You can feel it in the sophisticated textures and materials. And you experience it in ways that are inter-related and connected. As we move forward, it's important that change is an improvement and not just for the sake of looking different."