Hyundai-Kia has a great track record when it comes to hiring top luxury-brand designers from Western companies.
Actually, luring Peter Schreyer from Audi in 2006 accounts for most of that track record. Schreyer's conspicuous success at Kia -- he's now top designer for both Hyundai and Kia -- may be why Chung Eui-sun, heir apparent to the Hyundai Group, has gone after star stylists so aggressively. Last year, Hyundai poached Bentley's chief designer, Luc Donckerwolke, and it has now brought in Bentley's exterior designer, Korean Sangyup Lee.
Lee, 46, will head design for Hyundai and its new Genesis luxury nameplate, reporting to Donckerwolke, who will lead Hyundai's new Prestige Design Division as well as being global head of Hyundai design.
Lee has been Bentley's exterior design chief since 2012. He previously was at Volkswagen Group's design center in California, and General Motors. He played a lead role in designing the Chevrolet Corvette, Stingray and Camaro and Bentley's Bentayga crossover.
Lee told Reuters that he and Donckerwolke aim to make Genesis a recognized global premium brand as disruptive technologies such as autonomous driving, connected cars and alternative fuel systems alter the design landscape.
"Because of these technologies, the car industry is about to hit a crossroads," he said. "The future is truly open."