KIA Motors Corporation has appointed Karim Habib as senior vice-president and head of its design centre.
He will take up his new post at the start of October and will be based at Kia’s global design headquarters in Namyang, South Korea, moving there from having been executive design director for Infiniti – Nissan’s luxury brand.
Habib will oversee the work of Kia’s exterior, interior, colour and material teams, and help determine the future design strategy and direction of the brand, reporting to Luc Donckerwolke, executive vice-president and chief design officer of Hyundai Motor Group.
He brings with him more than 20 years’ experience of leading major design projects at premium brands. Before his role at Infiniti, he worked with both the BMW and Daimler groups. Born in Lebanon and fluent in English, French, German and Italian, Habib studied mechanical engineering at McGill University in Canada, as well as transportation design at the Art Center College of Design in California.
‘Kia is a growing, ambitious brand on a determined path toward electrification and mobility innovation,’ he said. ‘I am thrilled to be a part of this transformation to strengthen the Kia brand further into the future of the automotive industry, which promises to be full of challenges and opportunities. I look forward to working with Luc, whose work I have admired for many years, as well as the Kia design team that has created some truly remarkable designs.’
Donckerwolke said: ‘Karim will be an asset for the Kia brand with his international background and global experience. We highly appreciate his talent and experience. He is joining Kia at a crucial moment to project the brand into the future of mobility and to reinforce the young-spirited and motivated design team, which has won numerous international design awards.’