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November 2, 2018

Hyundai-Kia makes leadership changes

Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Motors Corporation have announced key leadership appointments to drive global product strategy, design and R&D innovation as well as sales in the Russia and CIS region, effective 1 November 2018.

By Sam Duke

Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Motors Corporation have announced key leadership appointments to drive global product strategy, design and R&D innovation as well as sales in the Russia and CIS region, effective 1 November 2018.

Design Executive vice president and current head of Hyundai Design centre Luc Donckerwolke has been appointed as the chief design officer of Hyundai Motor Group. Since becoming the head of Hyundai Design centre in 2016, he has made great contributions to the Hyundai and Genesis brand’s innovative and differentiated design development. In his new role, he will be responsible for establishing and developing design strategies for next-generation Hyundai, Kia and Genesis vehicles.

Vice president SangYup Lee has been promoted to senior vice president, and appointed as the new head of Hyundai and Genesis design, succeeding Mr Donckerwolke as the head of Hyundai Design centre.

Director Byungchul Juh will become the new head of Kia Styling, with his promotion to vice president.

Technology and R&D Executive vice president Thomas Schemera has been appointed as the new head of Product Planning and Strategy Division at Hyundai Motor Group. In his new role, to cope with the rapid paradigm shift in automotive products, Mr Schemera will lead the development of advanced technologies for autonomous and connected vehicles as well as vehicle electrification.

Meanwhile, Hyundai and Kia have created an independent Fuel Cell Division, dedicated to research in the fuel cell sector, and appointed vice president Saehoon Kim as the head of the organisation. The Fuel Cell Division will expedite technical development and secure new business opportunities for promising fuel cell technologies.

Hyundai and Kia have also created an ‘AIR Lab (Artificial Intelligence Research Lab)’, a dedicated artificial intelligence research centre, and have appointed director Jeonghee Kim as its new head. This research centre has been established to help identify and spearhead group-wide initiatives related to artificial intelligence while operating under oversight of the Strategy and Technology Division. AIR Lab’s areas of focus will be on Hyundai Motor Group’s key AI initiatives, including product optimisation, customer experience innovation, development of future vehicles, mobility services, and other businesses.

Russia and CIS Headquarters The change in Hyundai and Kia’s overseas operation reflects the company’s aim to grant greater autonomy to each region, spurring sustainable growth and enhancing innovation. It is in line with the reorganisation of the global business, which was initiated earlier this year when the company launched its North America Headquarters, Europe Headquarters, and India Headquarters. More overseas markets will be transformed into regional headquarters as the company aims to complete its global reorganisation by 2019.

As part of this global plan, Hyundai and Kia have both established new Russia and CIS Headquarters. senior vice president Youngtack Lee has been appointed as the head of Hyundai Motor Russia and CIS Headquarters, while director Wonjeong Jeong has been appointed as the head of Kia Motors Russia and CIS Headquarters.

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