Kia has hired designer Oleg Son from PSA Group to be the Korean brand's design chief in China. Son is currently design boss at PSA's DS subbrand.
He will join Kia in early November.
Son, 56, is a native of France. He has been executive design director at DS since 2011 and he ran PSA's Shanghai design center from 2008 to 2011.
Kia says Son will recruit and train young designers. The automaker also is counting on Son to design vehicles that are more competitive in China.
That won't be easy. In the first six months, sales of Kia's joint venture in China, Dongfeng Yueda Kia Automobile, plunged 55 percent year on year to 129,700 vehicles.
Chinese consumers have shunned Kia and its corporate parent, Hyundai Motor, in the wake of diplomatic tensions triggered by South Korea's deployment of a U.S. anti-missile system.
To revive sales, Kia launched the KX7 SUV, the KX Cross crossover and the upgraded K4 compact sedan this year. The automaker plans to introduce four additional models by year end.