Back in 2006 Peter Schreyer joined Kia as Chief Design Officer, today Schreyer holds the position of President and Chief Design Officer of Kia Motors Corporation. During the last ten years of leading new car design for Kia, the Korean brand’s global sales have risen from around 1.1 million cars in 2005, to 3.05 million in 2015.

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Kia had been making improvements for a number of years up to when Schreyer joined in 2006. The brand introduced the new European-built cee’d and its unique 7-Year, 100,000 mile warranty to Europe in the same year, and expanded its global manufacturing capabilities as new models entered production.

Customers around the world were opening their eyes to the value and quality of Kia cars – and Schreyer’s fresh design viewpoint provided the impetus for the transformation of the brand and its image, matching Kia’s increasingly global outlook.

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 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.

The stunning, “forward thinking” Kia GT Concept was launched at the Paris Motor Show in 2011 and suggested what a four-door sports sedan from the company could look like.

The GT Concept also happens to be Schreyer’s favourite design of all: “You know when you have more than one kid; you can never say which your favourite is. You love them all. I also do, with all the cars I’ve designed, but there is one that stands out a little bit, I must admit. The GT Concept was a dream project for me and our designers because we got the chance to make a real GT, a car where you can travel in style.”

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