Kia Motors Corporation has appointed Won Kyu Kang as Vice President and Head of the Kia Design Innovation Group. Starting in his new role in November, Mr. Kang will be based at the brand’s design headquarters, Kia Design Center in Namyang, Korea and will report to Karim Habib, Senior Vice President and Head of Kia Design Center.
Specializing in advanced design planning, Mr. Kang will lead the strategic development of Kia’s design by giving shape to future design plans in both exterior and interior design across the entire product portfolio. His appointment is the latest development in Kia’s move to establish a leadership position in electrification and capitalize on new design opportunities. Advanced design is seen as key element of this, with electric and electrified vehicles posing new challenges and opportunities in form and architecture.
An alumnus of the Transportation Design course at the ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, California, Mr. Kang brings with him 15 years’ experience in exterior design. He has overseen a range of exterior design projects, including research into merging premium vehicle design with future mobility technologies.
His most recent role was Creative Director at BMW Group Designworks in Shanghai, China, where he led the design development process for a range of automotive products. He previously spent much of his career at BMW Group, and was the lead exterior designer for the 2015 BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage concept.
“I am honored to join the Kia design team, particularly at a time when the automotive industry is facing such a radical shift,” comments Kang. “I believe Kia will play a major-role in defining the new era of design with a wide range of electrified products and a visionary mobility roadmap for the future. I’m excited to be part of this journey with the committed design team at Kia to further strengthen its product line and design strategy. I am confident that the knowledge accumulated during my career will contribute to the ongoing transition of Kia, and I am looking forward to working with the team in new creative directions.”
“Won Kyu brings with him a unique understanding of how to merge advanced mobility technology with stunning, modern exterior designs,” said Habib, Head of Kia Design Center. “The automotive industry is changing rapidly, and Won Kyu is ideally placed to support Kia’s efforts to tackle the challenges and opportunities we face. He is an incredibly talented designer and is a great fit for our creative Kia design team in Korea.”
The Kia Design Center in Namyang, Korea is the hub of Kia’s global design network, working closely with the brand’s regional design centers in China, Europe and the U.S. The design headquarters oversees all aspects of Kia design, from conceptualization and modelling to styling and development of color and materials.
Mr. Kang is one of a number of high-profile design appointments made by Kia Motors in recent years as the brand further strengthens its design capabilities for the years ahead. Under its ‘Plan S’ strategy, Kia aims to establish a leadership position in the future automotive industry, drawing on R&D expertise in mobility, electrification, connectivity, and autonomy.
Won Kyu Kang career highlights:
2017~2020: Creative Director, BMW Group Designworks Shanghai
2015~2017: Project Lead / Senior Exterior Designer, BMW Group
2005~2015: Exterior Designer, BMW Group
2000~2001: Interior Designer, Hyundai Motor Company